FIFA World Cup Day 15 Predictions Including England vs Belgium

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Group H has everything to play for at the 2018 World Cup this Thursday, while England and Belgium will split the spoils of Group G. Our panelists offer all their predictions for the final day of group stage action in Russia.

England vs Belgium (Thursday in Kaliningrad)

Steen Kirby: Belgium will likely make wholesale changes to their talented squad in order to rest players and give others a look before the critical knockout rounds. England should be a bit more motivated as a young side to top the group against a very good opponent. Both sides can score, but the Belgian backline is problematic. Expect Belgium to concede but also score enough to share the spoils here. 2-2 draw

John Bava: The second day of the group stage culminated with a fascinating matchup between Spain and Portugal which turned out to be an absolute barnburner. It ends with another mouth-watering clash that has all the makings of a similar finish. Along with Russia, these two teams’ eight goals scored were the highest through two games at the tournament. And Premier League aficionados will recognize many a name among their attacking players. Whether it’s the Three Lions’ Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling or the Red Devils’ Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku among others, it’s hard to see this game ending scoreless. In the end, Belgium sees out another three-point result to finish undefeated in the group. 4-2 Belgium

Shiven Mohindra: One of the most anticipated fixtures in the group stage. Both Belgium and England are through to the next round, and will be playing to win the group. Harry Kane has been on fire with 5 goals in 2 games this tournament, Belgium put 5 past Tunisia showcasing their high quality attacking football. Belgium 3-2

Panama vs Tunisia (Thursday in Saransk)

Steen: A game for pride, both sides have conceded a lot this World Cup, while Panama has netted just a solitary goal from 2 games. Tunisia is the better side and should do enough to finish third in the group. 2-0 Tunisia

John: Pride is the only thing on the line between Panama and Tunisia who are both already eliminated. Both England and Belgium proved too daunting of a challenge for both these sides. But the Eagles of Carthage gave the Three Lions all they could handle, with a late Harry Kane goal preventing them from achieving a famous point. They also put a pair of goals into the Belgium net which is two more than Panama managed. Los Canaleros making their maiden appearance at a World Cup is a great story. But it comes to an end with a goose egg in the points column. Tunisia 3-1

Shiven: A game where both teams are already eliminated, only pride is on the line. Both teams put up valiant efforts against England and Belgium but were simply outclassed on the day. Tunisia seemed the more dangerous side and will force Panama to wait another 4 years to earn their first World Cup points. Tunisia 2-0

Japan vs Poland (Thursday in Volgograd)

Steen: The lesser of 2 massive Group H games. Poland has been eliminated after a miserable World Cup where their midfield failed to create. Japan has surprised with a win and a draw that have allowed them to top the group through 2 games. A win secures their passage into the knockout rounds and I’m not convinced Poland is going to put up that much of a fight. 2-1 Japan

John: Poland can only play spoiler in this one since their 3-0 loss to Colombia in their previous match condemned them to a rather surprising elimination. Japan, meanwhile is into the round of 16 with either a win or draw. If the current pattern of previous World Cups is any indication, the Samurai Blue will qualify. They’ve appeared in each iteration of the tournament since 1998 and have interchanged getting eliminated in the group stage and qualifying for the knockout round during that time. In Brazil, their World Cup came to an end in group play. So the trend is for them to make the round of 16. They do so by sharing the spoils with the Poles. 1-1 draw

Shiven: Japan being one of the dark horses in the tournament so far, they currently lead the group and a point in this game should see them through to the knockout rounds. Poland have been sub par and star striker Robert Lewandowski has failed to deliver on the biggest of stages. Japan will go into this game full of confidence and hungry to secure top spot in group H. 1-1 draw

Senegal vs Colombia (Thursday in Samara)

Steen: Colombia could advance with a draw, but at 3 points (with Senegal and Japan already on 4) they really need a win. Senegal have impressed so far with a talented attack. That said, if Colombia hadn’t went a man down early against Japan, they would probably be topping the group. I’d expect the more experienced South Americans to get the win they need. Colombia 1-0

John: Colombia followed up their shock defeat to Japan in the opener with a 3-0 demolition of Poland. It included James Rodriguez proving what he’s capable of as a playmaker, assisting on two goals. They face a Senegal team that’s fairly dynamic themselves in attack, led by Liverpool’s Sadio Mane who notched his first goal of the tournament against Japan. Given the quality on both these teams’ front lines, this has all the makings of a high-scoring affair that could come down to a late game-winner. Unfortunately for the Lions of Teranga, it’s Colombia that will inevitably benefit and move onto the knockout stage. Colombia 3-2

Shiven: A massive game in group H as the winner will confirm a spot in the last sixteen. With James Rodriguez putting in a man of the match performance against Poland, Colombia looked unstoppable. If they can emulate a similar showing to that from the weekend, they will earn all three points. Senegal’s star players have underperformed so far and will look to redeem themselves in this crucial fixture. Colombia 3-1

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