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Southgate praises Belgium ahead of third place clash

Southgate praises Belgium ahead of third place clash

Gareth Southgate news

England manager Gareth Southgate has hailed the Belgium squad ahead of the third place match between the two sides at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia.

England will face Belgium to decide who comes third and fourth after they both lost the semi-final to Croatia and France respectively.

The former Middlesbrough coach described the performance of the Belgians in the tournament as 'exceptional', but he is hoping to do one better than them by defeating them on Saturday.

"It’s a brilliant journey they’ve been on, they will want to finish well but so will we. It’ll be a good test for us and we haven’t been able to beat these top teams yet," he said, Sky Sports reports.

The two sides met in the group stage, and the Belgians coached by Roberto Martinez won the game courtesy of a goal from Adnan Januzaj.

In the group game, the two coaches fielded a weakened side having qualified already. With that, the outcome of the third place game cannot be predicted easily.

Of the two sides the Belgians have met stiffer oppositions after defeating five time world champions Brazil in the quarter-final before losing to France in the semis.