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28th Jun 2018

Gareth Southgate makes fewer changes than Belgium for Group G decider

There's been a lot of rotation

Darragh Murphy

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

With first place up for grabs, England and Belgium do battle in Kaliningrad tonight with the potential to face either Colombia or Japan in the round of 16.

The winner of this evening’s clash will be paired up with Japan on July 2, while the group’s runners-up will face Colombia the next day.

England manager Gareth Southgate has made no fewer than eight changes for the final group game, taking the opportunity to rest some crucial players with little risk involved.

The only three survivors from Sunday’s thrashing of Panama are Jordan Pickford, John Stones and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Marcus Rashford gets his first start of the World Cup, as does strike partner Jamie Vardy, while Trent Alexander-Arnold and Danny Rose come in to occupy the wing-back roles.

Eric Dier and Fabian Delph join Lofuts-Cheek in midfield, with Gary Cahill and Phil Jones starting in defence.

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.

Manchester United’s Marouane Fellaini and Spurs’ Mousa Dembele start in midfield while the line will be led by Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi.