Jamie Vardy set to start against Belgium in Harry Kane selection clue

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England fan Will Tomlinson, 34, who has travelled to Russian Federation, said he hoped for an English influx as the team progressed through the tournament.

With the benefit of being the last teams to play in the group stage, both teams will have full knowledge of the knockout bracket by the time they kickoff at 6am - which may lead to the odd situation of both teams attempting to lose the match.

"Why we are starting to plot which would be a better venue for our semi-final is beyond me, really".

A staggering eight changes, i has been told, are expected to the XI playing the Group G decider this evening.

"We're going to face tougher challenges in the next few games and at the moment we can't consider ourselves a top team until we start to beat one of those teams", said Southgate. "We are trying to develop a winning mentality and I can't imagine a situation where I stand in front of this group of players and start talking about anything else".

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.

On Thursday, one of England or Belgium can add their name to the list of teams with a 100 per cent record, facing off in Kaliningrad to decide who tops Group E.

Japan coach Akira Nishino has warned his players against complacency when they meet the already eliminated Poles.

The majority of those who take the field in Thursday's crunch encounter play in the English Premier League and it is for this reason that RT's special guest analyst Jose Mourinho is curious to see who comes out on top when club-mates meet each other in the worldwide arena. "Because if you look too far ahead you can get in trouble".

"If I go and headbutt Roberto in the last five minutes, then you'll know that maybe we're taking a different approach to getting through!"

But Southgate appears to be planning for the knockouts by resting his captain.

The World Cup knockout bracket has already begun to take shape, and it's clear that one side of the bracket is a much more challenging path to the final.

England´s forward Harry Kane celebrates with England´s midfielder Jordan Henderson (R) after scoring a penalty during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group G football match between England and Panama at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod on June 24, 2018. Lukaku vs England, Lukaku is injured.

Raheem Sterling has been rested, which means Marcus Rashford is most likely to start just behind Vardy.