Sunday 9 December 2018

Confirmed: England make EIGHT changes for their battle against Belgium as Eric Dier is named as captain

England boss Gareth Southgate tipped to make eight changes for Belgium clash (Adam Davy/PA)
England boss Gareth Southgate tipped to make eight changes for Belgium clash (Adam Davy/PA)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Jamie Vardy is set to start for England in their final World Cup group match against Belgium in Kaliningrad tonight in a line-up that will feature eight changes, according to reports.

The Leicester forward is expected to have been selected for this match ahead of Harry Kane, who will be on the bench after scoring five times in his first two matches at the World Cup.

Keeper Jordan Pickford, defender John Stones and winger Jesse Lingard are the only three players expected to retain their starting places as Eric Dier is set to replace Jordan Henderson and Marus Rashford getting a start alongside Vardy and Tottenham's Eric Dier named as captain.

With both sides already guaranteed a place in the last 16, the battle for top spot in Group G is now a little more clear after Japan were confirmed as the runners-up in Group H.

Despite a 1-0 defeat against Poland, the Japanese edged Senegal out of the competition as they had received less bookings than their African rivals, with Colombia lying in wait for the team that comes out second best in the England v Belgium clash after they topped Group H with a win against Senegal.

While there has been some debate in England over the merits of finishing second in the group and avoiding a possible quarter-final against Brazil, a match against Japan in Rostov next Monday would now appear to be a much more attractive option than a game against Colombia.

The England team news will be confirmed at 6pm and you can follow the action on throughout the evening.

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, a trip to Old Trafford to watch Man United take on Liverpool in the Premier League, tickets to Ireland's home games in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

Press Association

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport