AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW Sun: England v Belgium

England’s initial return to international football was a fairly dull one but there was much more to cheer about for the Three Lions in midweek and regardless of the result we could have entertaining encounter as they take on Belgium back in the Nations League tonight.

There was much for Gareth Southgate to like in a 3-0 midweek win against Wales when Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Conor Coady and Danny Ings all sored and Jack Grealish delivered a masterclass, but this will be a much better test of where England are at as a team than facing a Wales side shorn of their two best players.

England v Belgium
UEFA Nations League Group Stage
17:00 Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Ultra HD

HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches, since 2010)
JUL 2018 WORLD CUP THIRD-PLACE PLAYOFF Belgium 2-0 England
JUN 2018 WORLD CUP England 0-1 Belgium
JUN 2012 FRIENDLY England 1-0 Belgium

We can expect to see a much changed England team – probably one that resembles the lineups in the first pair of Nations League games – and hopefully they’ll be more fluent in attack with four games of Premier League games under their belts. Harry Kane could miss out after suffering an injury in training but they’ll have Jadon Sancho and Tammy Abraham available again after they were forced to miss the Wales friendly having attended a party last week, and we should also see Marcus Rashford to make a pretty lethal front three trio.

Belgium made a whole host of changes for a 1-1 draw against the Ivory Coast earlier, but we’ll see all the big hitters back tonight as Thomas Meunier, Youri Tielemans and Axel Witsel, Toby Alderweireld, Kevin De Bruyne, and Romelo Lukaku all returning to the fold.

England have been more defensively secure since Southgate’s arrival – a strategy of three at the back has been very effective – but the y competitive fixture in which Belgium have not scored under Roberto Martinez is their 1-0 semi-final defeat to France at the World Cup, and English defenders – or indeed defensive midfielders – have not been rock solid at any point during the regular season. Over 2.5 looks a real runner.

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