Kane starts as England make five changes for Belgium World Cup playoff


SAINT PETERSBURG, July 14, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – England captain Harry Kane kept his place as Gareth Southgate made five changes for Saturday’s World Cup third place play-off against Belgium in Saint Petersburg.

The Tottenham striker is the tournament’s leading scorer on six goals, two clear of Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku, with England attempting to secure their best finish at a World Cup since winning it in 1966.

Phil Jones, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Fabian Delph and Ruben Loftus-Cheek all come into the side beaten 2-1 by Croatia after extra-time in the semi-finals.

Thomas Meunier returns for Belgium after he was suspended for the 1-0 defeat by France in the last four, while Youri Tielemans is also handed a start as Roberto Martinez makes just two changes.

England and Belgium, who won the group stage encounter between the sides in Kaliningrad 1-0, are the first teams to meet twice at same World Cup since Brazil and Turkey in 2002.

Belgium are hoping to achieve their best World Cup finish, having come fourth at the 1986 finals.

Starting line-ups for the World Cup third place playoff between Belgium and England in Saint Petersburg on Saturday (1400 GMT kick-off):

Belgium (3-4-3)

Thibaut Courtois; Toby Alderweireld, Vincent Kompany, Jan Vertonghen; Thomas Meunier, Axel Witsel, Youri Tielemans, Nacer Chadli; Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard (capt)

Coach: Roberto Martinez (ESP)

England (3-5-2)

Jordan Pickford; Phil Jones, John Stones, Harry Maguire; Kieran Trippier, Eric Dier, Fabian Delph, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Rose; Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane (capt)

Coach: Gareth Southgate (ENG)

Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRI)