Arsene Wenger will be pleased with Gareth Southgate's plans for Belgium clash

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"We are delighted to be in the next round, [the Belgium] game is the one we are focused on and we want to win the group".

Southgate held his press conference yesterday afternoon, at the same time that news filtered through from Kazan that holders Germany had been dumped out of the tournament by South Korea.

England's manager is wary of his memories of the 2002 World Cup when he did not play a single minute and, while he wished his team-mates well, ultimately found it a frustrating time.

Whoever finishes runners up of Group G will encounter Brazil or Mexico in the quarter finals, while the victor will face Sweden or Switzerland.

They'll play the winners of group H - one of Japan, Senegal and Colombia - in Moscow on Tuesday, kick-off 7pm.

Fortunately England manager Gareth Southgate is not getting carried away by the hype.


Win every game and keep their momentum intact or lose now to go further in the tournament.

"We've not won a knockout game since 2006, why we would be starting to plot which would be a better venue for our semi-final is beyond me really".

Vertonghen is of the opinion that it will be a special match between two top quality sides who have looked solid in the opening stages of the World Cup.

Kevin De Bruyne, Vincent Kompany, Marouane Fellaini and their Belgium team-mates all set out on an enjoyable stroll in the sun but their trip was cut very short.

Reports emanating from the press following the national team are unanimous in declaring that Jamie Vardy will be handed his first start of the World Cup, in place of Kane, who has five goals to his name already.

Opposite number Roberto Martinez is expected to make wholesale changes to his team, with Manchester United forward Romelu Lukaku nearly certain to miss out after picking up an ankle knock in Belgium's 5-2 win over Tunisia.


"I think the level of the game will be high, higher than perhaps if there are no changes given that both teams are through", he said.

"That´s the reality. We wanted to qualify, we´ve done that".

"It's very important for us to protect and give every player the best possible programme to be in the best condition for the knockout games".

Results elsewhere and the way the knockout draw has fallen so far have led to widespread suggestions the runner up out of England and Belgium would be in a better position to blaze a trail into the latter stages.

"We know what we're up against, we know their players inside out and know what we've got to do".

Now, we seem to be faced with a similar dilemma with teams that play later can engineer their performance to chart their course.


But Southgate refused to entertain such a thought. That'll put us in good stead. The last-16 ties start Saturday, with France taking on Argentina in Kazan and Uruguay facing Cristiano Ronaldo´s Portugal in Sochi.

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