Southgate: Germany's exit has no bearing on England

Saturday, 30 Jun, 2018

Southgate never announces his team officially until an hour before kick-off but he is acutely aware that Kane wants to be involved and has had to balance his captain's wishes with the possibility England's first knockout game could take place on Monday, four days after the Belgium game. In the case of teams finishing level on points, Federation Internationale de Football Association has put in place seven tie-breakers starting with goal difference and then the number of goals scored in all group matches.

Meanwhile Beligum are also expected to field a weakened side, with Roberto Martinez already stating that tonight is not their priority. "I don't think that in the World Cup you can be successful by trying to hope to get an easy path".

Despite a hard draw, Belgium remain upbeat about their World Cup prospects.

"I definitely think England have what it takes to do well, but it will be a match in which Colombia is going to be confident of playing at a high level and getting a good result", he told reporters.

"There are players that deserve to start in a World Cup".

Sterling had been criticised for his performance in England's group-opener with Tunisia, but set up two goals in their 6-1 thrashing of Panama last Sunday.

"O Rei" returned for their decisive last group outing against Eusebio's Portugal, but was the victim of another meaty tackle and was forced to limp his way through the remainder of the match as Brazil lost 3-1 again to go out.

A 2-0 humbling by a Heung Min Son inspired side left was the final nail on the coffin for Joachim Loew's men, the first time in the team's history that they've exited the competition so early.

"They have shown in this World Cup that they can bounce back from a defeat and win games".

The 25-year-old striker has just completed his first season at Old Trafford after having signed for the Red Devils from Everton last summer in a big-money deal.

It meant they were sent home in shame, after a 2-0 defeat to South Korea, with some of the media in Germany describing it as the nation's worst nightmare.

It was the end of an era for the likes of Iker Casillas, Xavi Hernandez and Xabi Alonso.