Roberto Martinez happy with top spot

Lucia Loi and Marcus Rashford look loved-up in this cute pic

It led to an unreal atmosphere and a game that sometimes resembled a battle no-one wanted to win, summed by the sound of Belgium supporters cheering yellow cards, knowing their inferior disciplinary record could see them fail to win the group and plot a potentially easier route around Russian Federation. If you look back to the last World Cup, they did unbelievably well. "Now, rather than having players not on the training ground because they're recovering, we'll have a gym session on Friday and players ready to start training for Colombia the next day". With Belgium making nine changes and England eight.

Quite so. Even tonight's match against Belgium is unlikely to be the test that Southgate would probably like.

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.

That meant Gareth Southgate's side finished second and they play Group H winners Colombia on Tuesday (7pm).

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"I don't think you can plan the ideal scenario", the Spaniard said, noting the travails of Germany and other top teams so far.

"We had a choice with our friendly matches to play teams who would be a bit easier, but we deliberately chose to play against top teams because we knew it would be better challenge".

Players need to have energy in the tank to win a World Cup, and Southgate is banking on his squad being fitter and fresher after being rested in Kaliningrad.

"Myself and others we play with a lot of the Belgium players back home", Dier told reporters.

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"I think it will be an interesting game, a 50-50 game, and both teams are qualified so it will be a odd game", said Fellaini, who plays in England for Manchester United, having made his name for another Premier League club Everton. He is a world class striker and we want him to be ready for Colombia.

Rashford squandered a glorious chance to level with an hour played, being denied by the fingertips of Thibaut Courtois - one of only two survivors for much-changed Belgium from their last outing - when played clean through on goal.

All the final group matches are played together to avoid what happened to Algeria in 1982.

German media have given a damning verdict of the campaign, which will be remembered as the first time since 1938 that the country has failed to make it past the first round. I know in some quarters that will be criticised but I am entirely comfortable with that. With the victor poised to win the group, a draw would be sufficient for Gareth Southgate's men to progress; England in possession of a superior disciplinary record. "It just wouldn't be authentic for what we've been trying to build for the last two years". "The lads coming in demonstrated to me that if he [Southgate] wants to change things, if he's up against things as the competition goes on, he's not going to be able to count on the likes of Fabian Delph, Loftus-Cheek".

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