Belgium's Romelu Lukaku to recover from injury in time to face England

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England and Belgium battle it out for top spot in their group on Thursday as the remaining teams at the World Cup digest Germany´s astonishing exit from the tournament in Russian Federation.

For that reason, don't be surprised if you see a few extra fouls between the two sides on Thursday.

As it stands - thanks to a few quirky results - one side of the draw appears considerably more hard.

Argentina only booked their place in the knockouts in the dying embers of their final group game, against Nigeria, while European champions Portugal and 2010 winners Spain were far from convincing in Group A.

All eyes are on England in Group G, but in Group H three teams can still qualify, and it's all to play for heading into the final games.

England had quite a torrid time against Tunisia and needed a late injury-time victor from Kane to ensure that they didn't share points.

"We have qualified and that was the priority", Martínez told the media.

Now, we seem to be faced with a similar dilemma with teams that play later can engineer their performance to chart their course.

"We are happy that tomorrow is probably one day too early, but I don't think he is going to take any longer than that". We had a really favourable draw, we all thought, in the last tournament [against Iceland at Euro 2016] and it didn't work out that way'.

"There are players on yellow cards".

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Before the match, Southgate appeared to downplay the hype stating and steered clear of any schadenfreude regarding Germany's exit: "We have not won a knockout game at a World Cup since 2006, why we would want to plan which would be a better venue for our semi-final is beyond me. e have no idea who, when or where we will play in the next round, but we are pleased we are in it". It states: "Winning is the object of playing any game".

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.

Simply put, neither England nor Belgium should want to win this game.

Finishing second in the group following defeat by Belgium - or a draw and a host of yellow cards (more on that below) - may not be so dire an outcome for England.

"Equally, he is the captain and he knows he will be judged on how far we go as a team". The Belgians, though, are known for their pragmatism and may not be as anxious about this perception of right and wrong, if the pre-game chatter is to be believed. They play in the same teams as the English players.

How both sides approach the match will be a good indicator of their respective philosophies and team culture.

Loew, who led his side to glory against Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil, refused to be drawn on his future in the immediate aftermath of Wednesday´s result.

Football can also be an individual sport, and one of the most prestigious individual honours in world football is the World Cup golden boot (the player with the most goals at the end of the tournament). But they have played teams who have been tactically very good.

However, Lukaku does look likely to be rested after picking up a minor injury niggle, while Kane may also be rested to give either Jamie Vardy or Marcus Rashford an opportunity to make their impression on the cup.

Both sides have 100 per cent records in the competition, and Martinez voiced his admiration for England.

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