Why Lukaku missed Belgium training ahead of crunch clash against England

Lukaku De Bruyne

Vertonghen plays with Kane for Spurs, and is Lukaku's worldwide teammate with Belgium, so he knows better than most the the ins and outs of both players' games.

While Southgate is planning on playing for the win against Belgium, he does acknowledge that Roberto Martinez's side are more than capable of beating his team.

England demolished Panama 6-1 in their second Group G match in Nizhny Novgorod, with Stones bagging a brace.

Belgium and England are equal on points and goal difference, which means if they draw, the group will be decided on disciplinary records.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku both have four goals apiece and can be backed at [4.4] and [6.4] respectively, while Spain's Diego Costa (three goals) is available to back at [7.8].

Belgium's first two goals, including an Eden Hazard penalty, in a span of 10 minutes were reward for exactly that early pressure, along with many more scoring chances.

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"That should make him incredibly proud, but he also knows the team is the most important thing and we have to make decisions that are right for the team". "This time, we're going to try and write history, especially for the boys of that generation who are going to retire".

England are top of Group G, level on points with Belgium, with Southgate's side ahead by virtue of having fewer yellow cards.

"Everyone wants to look at a possible pathway", Belgium's Martinez said on Monday, while also stressing: "I don't think as a professional you can go on a pitch not wanting to win".

That was a sentiment echoed in the English press: "Always risky to try and finish second as you think passage might be easier", wrote the Daily Mirror's John Cross.

However, if Brazil finish top of Group E and Germany come second in Group F, whoever finishes second in England's group would avoid them both and plot a favourable route to the semi-finals.

Panama did get a consolation goal though, their first ever at a World Cup.

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