England make five changes for final World Cup game 2 years ago

England make five changes for final World Cup game

It's not coming home but England will want to go out on a high after giving supporters a World Cup to remember.

While the third-place playoff has come in for plenty of criticism, there's not exactly nothing to play for as Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku will view the game as a personal battle for the Golden Boot.

Gareth Southgate has thought long and hard about what way to set his side up for Saturday's clash with Belgium at the Saint Petersburg Stadium because, on the one hand, he will want to avenge the Group G defeat to Roberto Martinez's team but, on the other, it's the opportunity to offer some World Cup experience to some lesser-used players with no real risk involved.

As it turns out, Southgate has gone for a combination of both as he's given regular first-team players such as Jordan Pickford, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Kieran Trippier, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane places in his starting XI.

The Three Lions boss has also decided to give what will be a much-appreciated chance to the likes of Phil Jones, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Fabian Delph and Ruben Loftus-Cheek for the game which could give Engalnd their best World Cup finish in 52 years.

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In the build-up to the game, Southgate said: "Everyone wants to play. Everyone trained. Sometimes it’s not always a good decision to play if people’s energy isn’t quite there.

"It won’t be exactly the same starting XI, but we want ideally to make as few changes as possible.

"One or two injuries, one or two with a bit of illness. We have high motivation to perform and finish with a medal at a World Cup, which only one English team have ever done.

"We’d like to redress having lost to Belgium once before already, too."

Belgium, meanwhile, have also named a very strong team for their final game of the 2018 World Cup.

The golden boot race - Lukaku vs. Kane - may be the most interesting watch.