Southgate refuses to confirm if he’ll make line-up changes for Belgium clash

first_imgGareth Southgate has not yet decided whether he will change England’s starting line-up for their final group stage match against Belgium, with the Three Lions already assured of their place in the last 16 of the World Cup.England defeated Panama 6-1 on Sunday afternoon to book their place in the knockout round, moving ahead of Belgium – who qualified for the last 16 on Saturday – into first place in Group G. Southgate has guided England to two wins from their opening two World Cup matches “We still are top of the disciplinary count, but we dont really know if that is going to be an advantage of not.“In the past that [finishing second] has opened up a more difficult second round game, but the group we are playing against looks pretty even to me.” Eric Dier, the Tottenham midfielder, is one of the players who has not made it off the bench at the World Cup 2 Given the make up of Group H, finishing second in Group G could actually be the better option in terms of securing an easier knockout tie and potential route to the final.Regardless of either team’s ambition to win the group or finish second, it is likely both sides will little resemble the starting XIs which have been selected in matchday one and two.Roberto Martinez, the Belgium manager, has already confirmed he will ring the changes against the Three Lions, but Southgate refused to do the same following the defeat of Panama.Speaking to talkSPORT, Southgate said: “We’ve got to think that through.“We’ve got momentum and we’ve had good consistency in our performances.“Equally, I trust all the squad. Some of them haven’t played in a couple of weeks and we are going to need players that haven’t played so far as this tournament progresses.“So we’ve got to balance these things over the next few days really.”When pressed about England purposely messing up against Belgium to finish second in the group, Southgate continued: “We wanted to be in control of the group, which is why it was a bit disappointing with the goal we conceded at the end. 2last_img read more