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27th Jun 2018

Arsene Wenger will be pleased with Gareth Southgate’s plans for Belgium clash

Changes will be made for England's final group game

Darragh Murphy

Both sides are expected to ring the changes for their final group Group G game.

England and Belgium will battle it out in a first-place play-off on Thursday evening and plenty of players are set to be rested for the game.

Eric Dier, who has only received a couple of seconds of World Cup action thus far, is set to start the match in the Kaliningrad Stadium.

Dier sat alongside Southgate for Wednesday’s press conference and the England manager confirmed that the versatile Spurs man would indeed start for their final group game.

The decision comes shortly after former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger criticised Southgate for leaving Dier out of the starting line-up for the opening pair of fixtures.

Southgate has utilised a back three of Kyle Walker, John Stones and Harry Maguire for the victories over Tunisia and Panama but Wenger held nothing back with his criticism of Walker’s defensive abilities while offering his analysis to beIN Sports at the weekend.

“The point is that he’s not a real defender and especially not a central defender,” Wenger said of Walker.

“And he can be subject to make defensive mistakes that he would not make when he plays on the right.

“The sacrificed player, and nobody talks about him despite the fact that he’s played all the games before, is Dier.

“He has always played in every single game but since the start of the competition, we have not seen him.

“He can play in the middle of centre-back and he can play in midfield as well. Until now and I don’t know why but he has not been used at all.”