Belgium and England have already met during the World Cup in a match both teams seemed reluctant to win and on Saturday they will face each other again in a game they both seem reluctant to play.
The two sides must pick themselves up and dust themselves down after suffering the crushing disappointment of semi-final defeats to play for the modest prize of third place in a fixture often criticised as pointless.
“It’s not a game any team wants to play,” said England manager Gareth Southgate after his team lost 2-1 to Croatia after extra time in Wednesday’s second semi-final.
“Of course, we want to win, we’ll be ready to go again because the team take great pride in their performances. It’s a bit too early after that defeat to think about it.”
His Belgian counterpart Roberto Martinez was similarly unenthused about the game after his side were beaten 1-0 by France on Tuesday.
“It’s a difficult emotion to manage. You’re disappointed because you lose the semi-final, and it’s very difficult to see the opportunity of playing another game as a positive,” he said.
Even so, he said he would try to lift his team.
“We need to regroup and recover and see the opportunity. To try to finish third in the World Cup doesn’t happen often. The only time it happened in Belgian football was in 1986, when we finished fourth.”
The two teams previously met in their final group stage game when both had already guaranteed a place in the last 16 — with the twist that the side who finished second would land in the easier side of the draw.
Martinez switched nine players and Southgate brought in eight, a decision he described as a ‘no brainer’ in the circumstances.
Belgium won 1-0 and were rewarded with games against Japan, Brazil and France while England played Colombia, Sweden and Croatia but the end result for both sides was the same — semi-final elimination.
Here is all you need to know about watching the third place play-off of the 2018 FIFA World Cup live:
When and where will the match be played?
The third place play-off between Belgium and England will be played on 14 July at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg.
How do I watch the match live?
The match will be shown live on SONY TEN 2, SONY TEN 2 HD, SONY TEN 3 and SONY TEN 3 HD.
What time will the live coverage start?
The live coverage of the FIFA World Cup will begin at 6.30 pm with a pre-match show. The third-place playoff will start at 7.30 pm.
Where can I follow the matches online?
The matches will be streamed live on SonyLIV. You can also follow live updates at firstpost.com.
With inputs from Reuters
Updated Date: Jul 14, 2018 14:40:53 IST