England and Belgium may be locked together on both goals scored and conceded, but while they’ve managed to strike 16 times between them in, Panama and Tunisia simply weren’t up to the task and this game is set to be a much lower-scoring affair. In fact, since 1990 there have been six final group stage matches between two sides on six points each and both teams have scored in none. With the knockout rounds fast approaching neither will want to expend too much energy chasing the game, especially as there is no obvious value in topping the group.
England are now unbeaten in 12 games, and although these included wins over minnows like Malta and Lithuania, they’ve also challenged themselves in the build up to Russia with some high-quality friendlies against Germany, Brazil, the Netherlands and Italy, and they drew three of four unbeaten matches. Since 1990, there have been 26 World Cup group games between two European teams that we had ranked within 10 places of each other (we have Belgium 8th and England 14th) and the higher ranked side has gone just W9-D9-L8 – with so little between the teams the draw represents the value.
England have made good, high-tempo starts to both games in Russia, and they’ve struck first in each of their last eight matches where there was a goal. Harry Kane has 13 goals in nine appearances, finding the opener in five of the last seven in which he’s found the net – he’s scored every game as captain and is unlikely to be rested with his eyes on the Golden Boot.