MX23RW : Wednesday, June 29 18:50:38| >> :600:114014:114014:
[monks data]
Oct 11, 2020 at 5pm UK at Wembley Stadium
England
2 - 1
Belgium
Rashford (39' pen.), Mount (65')
Rice (32')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Lukaku (16' pen.)
Meunier (38')

Preview: England vs. Belgium - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's UEFA Nations League clash between England and Belgium, including team news and predicted lineups.

England will be looking to return to winning ways in the UEFA Nations League when they continue their 2020-21 campaign at home to Belgium on Sunday evening.

The Three Lions are currently second in Group 2 of League A, picking up four points from their two matches thus far, while Belgium are top of the section with six points to show from their two fixtures.


Match preview

Conor Coady celebrates scoring for England against Wales in an international friendly on October 8, 2020© Reuters

England warmed up for Sunday's contest by beating Wales 3-0 on Thursday night, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Conor Coady and Danny Ings all scoring their first goals for the national team.

It was certainly a worthwhile exercise against Ryan Giggs's side, and a number of players will have given head coach Gareth Southgate food for thought in terms of team selection moving forward.

The Three Lions opened their 2020-21 UEFA Nations League challenge with a 1-0 win over Iceland on September 5 but were held to a goalless draw by Denmark three days later.

Southgate's team now face Belgium and Denmark in back-to-back home matches in the competition before arguably their toughest fixture in the group away to Belgium on November 15.

England finished third in the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League, winning a group that contained Spain and Croatia before losing to Netherlands in the semi-finals of the competition.

Belgium's Jeremy Doku celebrates scoring against Iceland in the UEFA Nations League on September 8, 2020© Reuters

Belgium, meanwhile, opened their Group 2 campaign with a 2-0 victory away to Denmark on September 5 before recording a 5-1 home victory over Iceland three days later.

Roberto Martinez's side are therefore two points clear of second-placed England at the top of the section and will be looking to make it three victories in a row ahead of their next game away to Iceland.

The Red Devils were unfortunate to miss out on a spot in the semi-finals of the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League as they won three of their four group matches against Switzerland and Iceland.

A 5-2 loss to Switzerland in their final group game meant that they did not advance, though, and they will be keen to make a big impression this time around.

Belgium saw a 12-game winning run come to an end on Thursday when they played out a 1-1 draw with the Ivory Coast, although it was very much an experimental XI from Martinez at Stade Roi Baudouin.

England Nations League form: WWLWWD
England form (all competitions): WWWWDW

Belgium Nations League form: WWWLWW
Belgium form (all competitions): WWWWWD


Team News

Jadon Sancho in action for England in September 2020© Reuters

England's XI will have a very different look to the one that started against Wales, with potentially only two players - Joe Gomez and Kieran Trippier - keeping their spots in the side.

Jordan Pickford is set to return between the sticks, while Harry Maguire, Eric Dier and Trent Alexander-Arnold are also in line to start. There is a slight doubt over the left-sided wing-back position as Ben Chilwell is not available due to illness, meaning that Trippier could be handed a start on the opposite side.

Jack Grealish, Calvert-Lewin and Ings all impressed against Wales, but Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford will be back in the XI, while there should also be a recall for Jadon Sancho, who is available after missing the Wales clash for breaching coronavirus regulations.

Declan Rice is set to feature in the middle of the park, meanwhile, and could be joined by Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, who has not played at club level since September 20 due to injury.

As for Belgium, Thibaut Courtois had to leave the camp on Thursday after a medical check-up deemed the Real Madrid goalkeeper unfit to play, meaning that former Liverpool stopper Simon Mignolet should start between the sticks.

Martinez's side are also missing key players in the shape of Thorgan Hazard and Dries Mertens, while Eden Hazard only has an outside chance of being involved, meaning that the visitors will not be at full strength on Sunday night.

Jeremy Doku and Leandro Trossard could therefore join Romelu Lukaku in the final third of the field, while Leicester City's Timothy Castagne should feature as the left-sided wing-back.

Belgium are also expected to line up with a back three - including Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen - while Kevin De Bruyne is likely to play central alongside Axel Witsel in midfield.

England possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Gomez, Maguire, Dier; Alexander-Arnold, Rice, Henderson, Trippier; Sancho, Kane, Rashford

Belgium possible starting lineup:
Mignolet; Alderweireld, Denayer, Vertonghen; Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, Castagne; Doku, Lukaku, Trossard


SM words green background

We say: England 2-2 Belgium

Belgium will not be at full strength for this match, but there is no question that Martinez's side will feel that they are capable of picking up all three points. England will also fancy their chances of triumphing, but we are finding it hard to separate the two sides, ultimately backing a high-scoring draw at Wembley.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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Wales manager Ryan Giggs pictured in September 2020
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