Group G at the World Cup is almost all but decided.
They can not be separated through traditional calculations, so the FIFA Fair Play standings based on cautions come into play. "He has shown his value to us already both before the tournament and now during the tournament".
However, it was never proved if the match was thrown, but henceforth all final group matches were played together.
This could create a insane scenario with both teams wanting to avoid success, or putting in a few nasty tackles to lose the Fair Play ratings.
"Even as a young player you maybe only get one World Cup".
"We're trying to develop a winning mentality and I can't imagine a situation where I stand in front of the players I've got start talking to them about anything else".
But in Belgium they face the world´s third-ranked side, and a squad loaded with world-class talent such as Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne. We expect several changes to personnel, given the strength and depth in the England squad, and Southgate's desire to ensure that those he may need to call on in the knockout phase have had match minutes.
On the other hand, England's manager Gareth Southgate said his side will be playing to win.
Unlike Southgate, the former Everton and Wigan manager said he was approaching Thursday´s game with one eye firmly on the knockout rounds. "We want to win". We had a really favourable draw, we all thought, in the last tournament [against Iceland at Euro 2016] and it didn't work out that way'.
Before the match, Southgate appeared to downplay the hype stating and steered clear of any schadenfreude regarding Germany's exit: "We have not won a knockout game at a World Cup since 2006, why we would want to plan which would be a better venue for our semi-final is beyond me. e have no idea who, when or where we will play in the next round, but we are pleased we are in it".
But is there an easier route through the knockout stages on offer to the team who finishes second? Only Poland have been eliminated already, while Japan, Senegal and Colombia could all book their place in the last 16 on Thursday afternoon.
The fans certainly won't care, especially these set of fans - the Belgians who have seen their golden generation consistently underachieve, and the English who are perhaps the most tortured group of fans in world football. The last-16 ties start Saturday, with France taking on Argentina in Kazan and Uruguay facing Cristiano Ronaldo´s Portugal in Sochi.