England take on the impressive-looking Belgians, in a game that neither side may really benefit from winning. How does John Newsome see this one playing out?
ENGLAND v BELGIUM
England hammered Panama in their 2nd game to set up this final game against Belgium. Harry Kane got his Panama Hat trick, Barnsley boy John Stones weighed in with a couple with Jesse Lingard completing the 6-1 rout. Johnny Boy Stones was inches away from completing a memorable hat-trick.
Belgium comfortably beat Tunisia 5-2 in their 2nd game, with Manchester United ace Romelu Lukaku getting a couple, taking his tally in Russia to 4. One behind Super Hurricane. Eden Hazard got a couple 2 and another Chelsea old boy Michy Batshuayi getting the 5th. In truth, Michy could have had his own hat trick missing a couple of easy chances.
The argument in this game is who wants to finish top of the group and who wants 2nd place. With both teams having the exact same statistic of 6 points, 8 goals scored and 2 goals conceded, it could come down to yellow cards. Supposedly a 2nd place finish gives the team an easy pathway. Football doesn’t work like that, both teams should go out for the win and accepting team changes will be made, England’s 2nd string should be stronger then Belgium’s.
England Win 2–0
JAPAN v POLAND
Japan will qualify for the last 16 with a win against Poland. A draw may be suffice, depending on the Senegal v Columbia result, but a win will secure the place for the Japanese. Old stager Keisuke Honda got the 2nd against Senegal with Takashi Inui with the opener. Japan could be England’s opponents in the last 16 so all English eyes will be on this game.
Poland have been poor in Russia and once again a small nation relies too heavily on their big superstar, in this case Robert Lewandowski. Robert has failed to score in the previous 2 Group losses and Poland will be on the plane home after this game.
Japan Win 2-0
SENEGAL v COLUMBIA
Winner takes all in this final game of Group H, Senegal just need a point to qualify for the last 16, however, a win for Columbia will send Senegal home. Tactics will come into play and it’s whether the Senegalese coach will go all out for the draw and put 11 men behind the ball. They have a win and a draw up to now and know a win will guarantee them progression to the knock out stage.
Columbia easily beat Poland in the last game, with goals from Defender Yerry Mina, Falcao and ex Chelsea player Juan Cuadrado. They will struggle to progress with just a draw, but it is possible depending on the Poland v Japan result, so will go all out for the win to make sure,
PANAMA v TUNISIA
Panama are enjoying their first taste of World Cup finals grappling, elbowing and kicking the opposition and conceding 9 goals in the 2 games against Belgium and England. Felipe Baloy has scored Panama’s debut World Cup goal in the 6-1 loss to England.
Tunisia have faired gamely in losses to England and Belgium. They were hanging on for a precious draw against England until Harry Kane got the late winner. The Tunisian’s were heavily beaten by Belgium but in the process did score 2 goals. Ex Sunderland star Wahbi Kazri got the 2nd in the 5-2 loss to Belgium. Both teams have lost both their opening games and on the basis of the scoreline of both their games, Tunisia should be too strong in this dead rubber before Panama and Tunisia part for the airport.
Tunisia Win 3-1
Contact John Newsome, with your own predictions, requests and feedback, at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org