We're here to win, not plot final route, says England's Southgate

Eden Hazard trained but Romelu Lukaku sat out the session

While both teams have already qualified for the knockout stages at Russian Federation 2018, they are playing to determine who they meet in the round of 16.

They can not be separated through traditional calculations, so the FIFA Fair Play standings based on cautions come into play.

Belgium forward Romelu Lukaku is on the mend but not likely to be risked against England in Thursday's final Group G game in Kaliningrad.

Russian Federation 2018 will be his fifth World Cup.

"My inherent nature is that I like people to feel included and to be part of what we're doing, and they all are", Southgate said, having watched from the bench in 2002.

"I don't think he will be training on Wednesday, and I think we will make a final assessment tonight in order for him to be involved or not".

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After a last-gasp 2-1 win against Tunisia and then a 6-1 thrashing of a Panama team who, as Rio Ferdinand said, had all the quality of a non-league side, suddenly "football's coming home". We expect several changes to personnel, given the strength and depth in the England squad, and Southgate's desire to ensure that those he may need to call on in the knockout phase have had match minutes.

Both Gareth Southgate's side and Belgium have secured a place in the last 16, with the only matter to be decided in Kaliningrad which team wins the group. "Tomorrow we want to perform well but the priority is not to. At that point it was one or the other", the ex-Wigan Athletic and Everton manager added.

"I think there is a clear structure, there has been a real tactical awareness, there has been a change of system to go into different qualifying games. There are players who have been in very demanding games so it´s very important for us to protect and give every player the best opportunity to be in the best condition in the knockout games".

The England boss kept his cards close to his chest, only confirming that Eric Dier would make his first World Cup start.

But is there an easier route through the knockout stages on offer to the team who finishes second?

In the other remaining first-round games on Thursday, Japan, Senegal and Colombia are all chasing the two qualification spots in Group H, with Poland out of the picture. If you do not play to win, you are cheating your opponents, deceiving those who are watching, and also fooling yourself. Japan are in the best position on paper as they sit top and face already-eliminated Poland. The last-16 ties start Saturday, with France taking on Argentina in Kazan and Uruguay facing Cristiano Ronaldo´s Portugal in Sochi.

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