FIFA World Cup 2018: Not only pride but individual honours also at stake in Belgium vs England third place play-off
FIFA World Cup 2018: Not only pride but individual honours also at stake in Belgium vs England third place play-off

FIFA World Cup 2018: Not only pride but individual honours also at stake in Belgium vs England third place play-off



One statistical quirk of the World Cup is that no Premier League player has ever won any of the three top individual awards of football’s quadrennial gala – Golden Ball, Golden Boot, Golden Glove. That, however, stands to change after Sunday’s title showdown with as many as 40 Premier League-based players still involved, a welcome change for the league which often portrays itself as the world’s best domestic league but one which, until now, has had little to show for in terms of its players’ performance on the biggest international stage.

Two of the Premier League’s top strikers – Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku – warmed the bench when England met Belgium in this World Cup’s group stage, but both of them are expected to start in what is the least consequential latter stage match of the tournament – the third place play-off.

England captain Kane currently leads the Golden Boot race with six goals, while Belgium’s own leader figure Lukaku is second behind Kane on four goals. Both players, however, are in the middle of a mini-drought, having started the World Cup on fire. Kane hasn’t scored since his penalty strike against Colombia in the Round of 16 and Lukaku has struggled to find his scoring boots since netting twice against Tunisia in the group stage



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