Gareth Southgate said permutations were 'half the fun' before taking England job

And there's further warning signs for Belgium and England, should they be plotting any foul play in the pursuit of eventual glory.

The 43-year-old also noted the importance of trusting the squad to perform against Belgium so that the players are ready if called upon during the knockout rounds.

Very few of the big-name countries have hit the ground running and many have stumbled throughout the group stages with some high-profile names facing an early exit.

This will be the fourth meeting of the two nations in major tournaments.

The very public demonstration of a discovery from the Super Bowl trip put into practice by Southgate was England putting all 23 players up for media interviews during a single, rapid session before flying to Russian Federation.

The England striker now leads the race for the Golden Boot with five goals, which included a hat-trick against Panama.

"We are going to try to win the game, because as a footballer you want to win every game", he said. That would mean we top the group and we would go into whatever game we go into moving forward'.

"We are making history".

According to the English FA, they believe his baby is due after the World Cup final on July 15. "It's one of the most wonderful things that can happen in your career".

They may have been thrashed 6-1 by England last time out, but Felipe Baloy's 78th-minute effort, Los Canaleros' first goal at this level, was celebrated by the players, staff and fans with considerable vigour, and it will no doubt be quite the scene if they can secure a maiden victory on Thursday evening.

Nabil Maaloul's side were unlucky to lose 2-1 to England in their opener, after Harry Kane netted a 90th-minute victor. "They didn't deserve to be in it, they haven't played well".

Here, we explain why England have a genuine chance of winning the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

"Indirectly, I would say they have had a big bearing on what we are doing now but in sport and life you just have to keep evolving and improving and it just shows anyone is vulnerable on any given day".

Japan are top and need just a point ($3.3) against already eliminated Poland to make sure they are the only Asian side to have a shot at glory. They have done everything.

"But the lads who've played have done well and fully deserved the credit they've got".

On nearly every occasion when England came forward they threatened Jaime Penedo's goal and the free-going mentality which Southgate has spoken of is clearly rubbing off on his players.

Panama must make two enforced changes as both Michael Amir Murillo and Armando Cooper are suspended for their final outing in Russian Federation.

  • Julie Sanders