We're here to win, not plot final route, says England's Southgate

Cristiano Ronaldo

England and Belgium will meet in a World Cup match that neither team wants to win.

England recorded their own wide win against World Cup first-timers Panama, opening the floodgates against the Canal Men in a 6-1 win to smash a handful of their own records and join Russian Federation as the only team to win by a five goal margin in the tournament so far.

Both Belgium and England look very different than they did for their respective pair of opening games in Group G.

Anything less than a solid result against Belgium, however, will destroy any hopes already built by the players, who are eager to dispel any doubt in the national side that has gathered since an embarrassing group stage exit in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, followed up by a shock exit to Iceland in the European Championships two years ago. "That would mean we top the group and we would go into whatever game we go into moving forward".

Opposite number Roberto Martinez is expected to make wholesale changes to his team, with Manchester United forward Romelu Lukaku nearly certain to miss out after picking up an ankle knock in Belgium's 5-2 win over Tunisia.

With both sides already guaranteed a place in the last 16, the battle for top spot in Group G is now a little more clear after Japan were confirmed as the runners-up in Group H.

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This will be the fourth meeting of the two nations in major tournaments.

After a last-gasp 2-1 win against Tunisia and then a 6-1 thrashing of a Panama team who, as Rio Ferdinand said, had all the quality of a non-league side, suddenly "football's coming home".

Belgium, meanwhile, have made even more changes as Roberto Martinez keeps the faith with just Thibaut Courtois and Dedryck Boyata from Sunday's win over Tunisia. That is the reality, we have put ourselves in this situation, we wanted to qualify and we have done that. We've not won a knockout game since 2006, so why we are starting to plot which would be a better venue for our semifinal is beyond me, really. Up front, Harry Kane is expected to start and will be looking to add to his tally of five goals in the tournament.

"We have no idea who, when or where we will play in the next round".

"But I think that whatever happens, if you're going to win the Golden Boot, you've got to get to the latter stages of it".

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