England manager Gareth Southgate will hand starts to a number of fringe players in England’s final Group G game against Belgium.
Having already qualified from the group, Southgate is planning to make several changes from the team that beat Panama 6-1 on Sunday, according to the Daily Mail.
One of the most notable exclusions is set to be Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling – although he is set to start England’s last 16 tie next week. Both Jamie Vardy and Marcus Rashford are vying to start the final group game in place of Sterling.
And Southgate has urged his squad to make the most of the opportunity. “Every player, the 12 who aren’t playing, it’s only natural they want to play,” he said.
“We’re competitive and want to play in every game. That’s not possible in football. We’ve all been around long enough to know that’s the case, and we have to respect that and keep pushing. That’s what the players have been doing.
“The mentality of those who haven’t been in the starting XI has been to keep working as hard as possible, keep training and force an opportunity to play.
“I think the intensity of the game will be good. The players who come in when you make changes have a high level of motivation. They have a brilliant opportunity to play in a World Cup and they want to show what they can do.”
Captain Harry Kane is expected to retain his place in the starting XI while Danny Rose, Gary Cahill and Phil Jones will be hoping for their first taste of World Cup action.
It is also expected that Eric Dier will replace Jordan Henderson for the game against the Red Devils.