England will face Belgium in the third-place match of Fifa World Cup 2018 at St. Petersburg on Saturday, July 14.
There is very little hype surrounding the tie. Questions are being asked about the need for a third-place match at World Cups.
However, the battle between the two European giants, who are expected to play free-flowing football, is expected to offer some entertainment quotient despite lacking purpose.
England's bid for revenge against Roberto Martinez's side following their group-stage defeat and the presence of Golden Boot race leader Harry Kane and nearest-rival Romelu Lukaku are some of the key narratives surrounding Saturday's tie.
Here's a list of interesting tidbits about England and Belgium, the two teams who will eye consolation wins tomorrow.
Journey to the last four — Belgium had had a dream run in this World Cup. Unbeaten in the group stages with comprehensive victories over Panama, Tunisia, and England.
Though they faced aberration in the knockout stage when they faced Japan. After being 2 goals down, they managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat with a late goal in injury time.
The round of eight game against Brazil was touted to be much more difficult than it turned out to be. Knocking out five-time champions though always require guts.
Martinez's side started the game at par against France but the spirited French side sunk the Belgium line-up restricting them to enter their first ever finals.
Player to watch out for: Eden Hazard by far was one of the lone sparks in the game against France. The Red Devils will definitely hope the Chelsea striker will contribute to a team's quest to finish on the podium. After scoring two and assisting in two goals he will be the player that England should be wary of.
Appearances: Belgium made their 13th appearance at a World Cup when they opened their campaign in emphatic fashion with a 3-0 win over Panama. They are currently ranked 3rd in the world.
Best moment: They have never been World Cup champs and missed out on the golden opportunity even with a talented bunch of people. Their best finish was in 1986 when they finished the competition fourth. They will hope to do one better when they face off against England in their third-place game.
Leading goal scorer: Their overall World Cup leading goal scorer is Romelu Lukaku with a total of five goals under his name. He is also the leading goal scorer in their current squad with 40 goals.
Journey to the knockout stage- The start of the tournament was jittery for the Three Lions, scraping through against Tunisia in an injury-time goal. A brace by the captain saved them blushes.
They recovered in style, thumping half a dozen against Panama. Their first acid test though was against Belgium, where they were defeated by a lone goal.
Round of 16 saw them being stretched to the wire and scores were settled through penalty shootout. Their most clinical performance came against Sweden, with a 2-0 win. After stuttering against Croatia in the semi-finals, they will now look to bulldoze Belgium to get a podium finish.
Player to watch out for: Harry Kane's performance is the silver lining for the English team in this World Cup. He is their leading goal scorer with a total of six goals and is four goals short from becoming England's leading goal scorer at a World Cup final.
Appearance: England made their 15th appearance at a World Cup final and they are ranked 12th and they are currently tied on points with Denmark.
England's moment of glory was the summer of 1966 when Bobby Moore lifted the coveted trophy. It has been more 50 years and yet again the Lions failed to bring home the cup. Extra time goal from Mandzukic sunk all hopes of the spirited young side under the leadership of Kane and mastermind Southgate. Both of them would at least like to end up on the podium even though that would mean a consolation.
Leading goal scorer: Legendary English striker Gary Lineker is their leading goal scorer at World Cups with a total of 10 goals. Harry Kane though is the leading scorer of the English side with a total of 19 goals in 27 appearances.
The race for the Golden Boot
It is quite ironic that the top two leading goal scorers of the tournament are not playing the grand finale. Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku have both been in emphatic form scoring six and four goals respectively. Spectators will hope that these players will step up and give them a gush of adrenaline rush in what is touted to be a game of academic relevance.
Considering the fact that the two leading goals scorers of this World Cup will face off each other, it will be a real challenge for the goalkeepers at either end to keep them quiet. But they wouldn't be too worried, as both Courtois and Pickford have maintained a fantastic form throughout the competition after making a total of 22 and 15 saves totally.
Head to Head
These two teams have met on 22 different occasions, of which The Three Lions have ended on the winning side 15 times.
On the other hand, Belgium has won just three games and it has ended in a draw on four occasions. The recent meeting between the two teams came last month when they were placed in the same group. The game ended, where Belgium won, by a goal to nil.
Sony Ten 2, Sony Ten 3 and Sony ESPN will provide live television coverage of the match in India.