Betting: Goal-fest appears on the cards in third-place playoff

 
Ben Cleminson
Sweden v England: Quarter Final - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
England lost against Croatia on Wednesday night - but the third-place playoff provides a chance to finish the World Cup in style (Source: Getty)

Extra-time heartbreak saw England crash out against Croatia on Wednesday – but the Three Lions’ World Cup isn’t quite over yet.

Before Gareth Southgate and his squad get to fly home to what will surely be a hero’s reception, they must face Belgium in the third-place playoff tomorrow night.

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The third-place playoff is a curious match – an afterthought for two teams who’d rather be in the final, though with the pressure gone, we do usually see some entertaining games.

The past 10 editions have seen a total of 41 goals scored, as teams throw caution to the wind in an exhibition atmosphere.

Expect similar in St Petersburg tomorrow.

After a gruelling 120 minutes against Croatia, and a demanding World Cup in general, I’d be surprised to see any of England’s regular starting XI retain their places.

It’s an odd quirk that these two met earlier in the tournament, where the nature of the draw meant both put out reserve teams having already qualified. We’re likely to see another set of second-string sides once again.

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Belgium won 1-0 on that occasion, but I don’t think there’s much that can be read into that – or indeed, the form of either nation since.

It’s difficult to predict exactly what will happen, but with both teams likely to want to put on a spectacle, I’m hoping for goals.

I’ll be backing over 3.5 goals at 2.6 with BETDAQ.

Pointers

Over 3.5 goals - 2.6 (BETDAQ)

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