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England can use knowledge of teammates to advantage, says Eric Dier

England can use knowledge of teammates to advantage, says Eric Dier

With the benefit of being the last teams to play in the group stage, both teams will have full knowledge of the knockout bracket by the time they kickoff at 6am - which may lead to the unusual situation of both teams attempting to lose the match.

The downside came in the poor display from Eric Dier, whose pedestrian effort cemented Jordan Henderson's place as midfield anchorman while Phil Jones did nothing to suggest he would be a significant figure again.

John Adamson, 48, of Ryhope, said: "The other two matches we've looked like we've got loads of goals in us but tonight, maybe because there were so many changes to the side, we didn't seem to have anywhere near as much threat".

The match was far less dramatic than the day's earlier games, but the outcome still had consequences that could affect both teams as they look to continue their World Cup runs into the knockout round.

"We are not looking at paths", Martinez said.

What happens if England win or lose?

Unlike Southgate, the former Everton and Wigan manager said he was approaching Thursday┬┤s game with one eye firmly on the knockout rounds.

With a combined 17 changes - eight for England, nine Belgium - the game played out as expected; kind of awkwardly. We have levels still to reach and work to do, but that's nothing we didn't already know.

Belgium face Group H victor Japan on Monday but a win there would mean a quarter-final against Brazil or Mexico.

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"Be positive more than ever I think now". Our key objective was to get the players who haven't been playing, some game time, so that they have not gone more than three weeks without a match, before the next round.

What looked like being one of the ties of the group stage instead became a rather odd encounter given the talk about the most favourable knockout route, including suggestions that finishing runners-up may be preferable. Those players now - disappointed now [because] they didn't play well - what a chance.

They'll play the runners-up in group H - one of Japan, Senegal and Colombia - in the last 16 in Rostov-on-Don on Monday, kick-off 7pm.

England's defeat sends them to Moscow to face Colombia - so was this the first reality check for Southgate and his players at a World Cup that has gone so smoothly or simply a glancing blow delivered in a phoney war?

"We have to develop a squad that embodies a lot of positivity and teamwork and also make sure everyone feels included", said the Red Devils' coach.

Russia's no-show against Uruguay, the first decent side it faced, made clear it wasn't unexpected world beaters.

Anybody that plays against Colombia will know they are match ready. "It just wouldn't be authentic for what we've been trying to build for the last two years".

"The Belgium game was a reminder to us of the standard of teams we are coming up against from now on", Cahill told the London Evening Standard. With the Fair Play tie-breaker in mind, it was not a thriller in Kaliningrad until Adnan Januzaj made a decision to spice things up a bit.