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Should England Finish Second Tonight?

England finishing first in Group G would be some achievement, especially considering the pool of talent at Belgium's disposal.

But victory tonight guarantees top spot, a defeat ensures second and a draw means it would come down to disciplinary records and, potentially, lots.

So a first-placed finish would mean England play the second team in Group H and go into the top half of the draw alongside France, Argentina, Uruguay, Portugal, Brazil and Mexico, probably meeting Brazil in the quarters.

But if Gareth Southgate's men come second in the group, they go into the bottom half of the draw, which includes Spain, Russia, Croatia, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland.

They couldn't meet Spain or Croatia until the semis and a win against Group G's winners in the Round of 16 would set up a quarter-final with Sweden or Switzerland.

 

 

It is an unfamiliar position for England to be in, needing a defeat to ensure an 'easier' route to the final.

A win means they will have secured maximum points, beaten Belgium and build momentum going into the knockout stages.

A defeat means they go into the weaker half of the draw and therefore, in theory, have a better chance of going further into the competition.

So our experts have had their say on whether England should go all out to win the match or if a defeat is a better option.