Belgium News: Courtois playing for pride

8 months ago

In the latest Belgium news, Thibault Courtois says his side’s clash with England will be anything but a dead rubber.

The teams have both qualified from Group G and the winner of Thursday’s game in Kaliningrad will top the pool heading into the last-16.

Red Devils boss Roberto Martinez has suggested he will make a number of changes to keep his players fresh and avoid any untimely injuries, while opposite number Gareth Southgate has remained much coyer on his plans.

Whoever starts, the amount of Premier League-based players in the Belgian squad means there are still likely to be plenty of familiar faces.

There is also extra intrigue as with the teams level on points, and equal on goal difference, it could be a cagey affair due to the fact finishing second in the pool could actually lead to an easier draw.

Belgium are 6/4 to win the game with BetVictor and while both bosses will be keen to see their teams come through unscathed, they will also be aware of how key momentum can be in tournament football.

Courtois will certainly be imploring his team to be going for the win, especially with pride at stake.

The goalkeeper admits a victory will allow him to go back to Chelsea with his head held high, conceding that the chance to get one over on some of his domestic team-mates will only add to his motivation.

“I don’t think it matters if you finish second or first,” he said. “But if you want to have that winning feeling, it’s best to keep winning. And for me there is pride at stake. I don’t want to go back to England in July with a losing feeling.

“It’s about prestige because they have a lot of guys we know and we have a lot of guys they know.”