Belfast Telegraph

Gareth Southgate to pick from full-strength squad for England clash with Belgium

The Three Lions meet the Belgians in Kaliningrad to determine who will win Group G.

England manager Gareth Southgate during the training session at Spartak Zelenogorsk Stadium (Owen Humphreys/PA)
England manager Gareth Southgate during the training session at Spartak Zelenogorsk Stadium (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Gareth Southgate looks set to have a full complement of players to choose from against Belgium as all 23 England players trained on Wednesday.

The Three Lions conducted their final session prior to departing for Kaliningrad, where they will meet the Belgians on Thursday night to determine who will win Group G.

Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli, who missed the 6-1 victory over Panama due to a thigh injury sustained against Tunisia, was once again able to participate having initially returned to training on Saturday.

Dele Alli trained again on Wednesday (Owen Humphreys/PA)

With England’s progress to the last 16 already assured, Southgate and his Belgian counterpart Roberto Martinez must determine whether to rest players for their clash.

Kyle Walker and Ruben Loftus-Cheek may not be risked as both have already been cautioned and would miss the following game were they to be booked again against the Belgians.

Kieran Trippier’s involvement will also come into consideration as he was taken off against Panama as a precaution due to “a tiny twinge”.

All of England’s players took part in the session (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Southgate must also weigh up whether to select his captain Harry Kane, who remains the tournament’s leading scorer with five goals.

Loftus-Cheek replaced Alli against Panama in the only change from the Tunisia fixture, but Southgate has plenty of options if he wishes to make further alterations for the final group game.

Only four outfield players in England’s squad are yet to feature in Russia – defenders Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Trent Alexander-Arnold and striker Danny Welbeck.

Eric Dier, Fabian Delph, Danny Rose, Jamie Vardy and Marcus Rashford have all appeared off the bench.

England’s route in the knock-out phases will become clearer after Wednesday’s games, when reigning champions Germany and five-time winners Brazil will hope to book their last-16 berths.

Should the Three Lions win their group, they know they will enter a half of the draw that already features France, Argentina, Uruguay and Portugal.

Finishing as runners-up would ensure they join a section containing Spain, Russia, Croatia and Denmark.

Press Association


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