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England Fixtures: Nations League Preview

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England Fixtures: Belgium and Denmark in the Nations League

 

England Fixtures: Nations League Preview

The international break is back after a month since the Nations League first round of fixtures. England sit second in League A, Group 2 with four points. Whereas Belgium top the group with six points, after winning all their games so far.

England’s first game saw them beat Iceland 1-0 following last minute controversy which included two sending offs and two penalties. Raheem Sterling converted a penalty, after a handball in the 89th minute, to put them 1-0 up.

Shortly after, a foul by Joe Gomez gave Iceland a penalty themselves in the 93rd minute. Birkir Bjarnason blazed it over the bar as England saw out their first win for this years Nations League.

They then travelled to Denmark three days later, as they played out a dull 0-0 draw. England had chances to score but came out disappointed to not get three points from the game.

The fixtures also brought headache for manager Gareth Southgate. Debutants Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood broke quarantine procedures within the England camp and were sent home after the Iceland game. They are now dropped from these two fixtures.

Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell and Jadon Sancho could also miss out on the first match against Belgium. The three broke coronavirus protocol after being seen at a party with more than six people, for Abraham’s 23rd birthday.

Southgate has given Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Bukayo Saka, Harvey Barnes and Reece James their first England call-ups, as well as bringing Harry Maguire back into the squad.

England will face Belgium on Sunday and Denmark again on Wednesday, as they try and come out of these fixtures at the top of group 2.

 

England v Belgium (Sunday 11th October 5pm)

The England boys host a strong Belgium side on Sunday in a bid to try and jump to the top spot. Belgium boast a talented squad with the likes of Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Dries Mertens and Romelu Lukaku all expecting to feature.

Last time England faced them was the 3rd place playoffs at the 2018 World Cup. They lost 2-0 that day after goals from Thomas Meunier and Eden Hazard sent the squad home without any silverware.

This time round Southgate and his team will be determined to get their revenge over their European opponents. Without key players like Sancho and Chilwell however, the squad is weakened and it could be hard for England to get off on the right foot.

Belgium have gone 12 games unbeaten leading up to this fixture and have won all their Nations League games so far. They beat Denmark 2-0 in their first match and thrashed Iceland 5-1 in their second fixture.

The teams that England have struggled against previously, Belgium have managed to sweep aside. Manager Roberto Martinez has led this group of extraordinary players, and got them playing as a team and are they are now one of the strongest teams in Europe.

However England are not a weak side. Forwards like captain Harry Kane, Danny Ings and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are all in good, scoring form. The partnership of Declan Rice and Jordan Henderson will be solid in the middle of the park, but some fans may worry about the quality of England’s defence leading up to this game.

Nevertheless, with the Euros round the corner this will be a good test to see how well England can cope against tough opposition.

 

England v Denmark (Wednesday 14th October 7:45pm)

The second batch of fixtures, include England facing Demark for the second time in the group. The previous match had fans witness a dreary 0-0 draw, which didn’t offer much excitement.

The performance was uninspiring despite Southgate’s best efforts to field a strong team. The likes of Sterling, Kane, Sancho, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Declan Rice all started the game. This takes nothing away from Denmark’s display however, who arguably had the better chances on the night.

England should show more willingness and motivation to get a better result in this game. Against a team like Denmark they should be running at defenders more and be letting their talented forwards attack more freely.

Denmark lost to Belgium 2-0 before drawing against England so they will be more determined to get something from this game. As they sit third in the league table, they will see this game and their match against Iceland as an opportunity to claim some points.

Ranked 16th in the FIFA rankings, Denmark have players like Christian Eriksen, Yussuf Poulsen, Kasper Schmeichel and Andreas Christensen in their squad. So England should not throw caution into the wind and get complacent at the back.

This will be a good chance for players to prove to Southgate what they can do in a competitive game. There are so many positions in the team that are still available. Individuals will be able to prove against Denmark why they deserve a spot on the plane to the Euros next summer.

 

We hope you enjoyed this article ‘England Fixtures: Nations League Preview’. Do England have what it takes to win their Nations League group? Let us know!

 

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Joe is an aspiring sports journalist with an excellent knowledge and passion for football and basketball, with a wide-range of understanding in major sports. He studies Multi-Media Journalism at Bournemouth University and is currently completing a ‘year in industry’ placement, beginning his first 3 months here with us at Sporting Ferret! You can contact him on: willisjoe120507@gmail.com

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