France vs Belgium

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

For the right to play England…obviously

So why exactly has the Premier League had such a good World Cup? We can’t even trace this one back to Gareth Southgate, whose last contribution to the Prem was removing Middlesbrough from it, an act which certainly enhanced the division, but was too long ago to ascertain a definite cause and effect.

Our opinion is that the games have been allowed to flow a great deal more, rough and tumble has been permitted, with the referees happy to leave it to VAR for any secondary action. Whereas previous World Cups have been very stop-start with all sorts of niggles and shenanigans, this one has had the tempo of an English top-flight game.

Despite fielding a backline (in the absence of Laurent Koscielny) who have never figured in the Premier League, the captain Lloris, the brilliant pair of Kante and Pogba in midfield, and the under-rated Giroud, all have strong connections to the English game.

Belgium are virtually a Premier League XI these days, with only Mertens and Meunier significant players who aren’t over here. Hell even their manager and one of his coaches were made in England.

And it may well be their time right now. Golden Generations don’t have a good track record – England are currently following Portugal in proving that often it’s the generation inspired /forewarned by the golden generation who will end up truly delivering. Back 1-0 Belgium at 9/1 with Paddy Power, and spend the money on tickets to watch England next Sunday.

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