How many Spurs players will play in England’s Group G decider with rivals Belgium?
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Up to eight members of the Tottenham squad could feature in the Group G clash, but some may now be rested ahead of the knock-out stage
Several Spurs players were set to do battle tomorrow (Thursday) when England face Belgium in a Group G decider at the World Cup, but perhaps not as many as first anticipated will be in action now.
The two countries are at the top of the group with six points from their opening two fixtures and whoever wins the 7pm kick-off will finish first.
England have five players from Tottenham Hotspur in their 23-man squad while Belgium are able to call upon three, but both teams could rest players ahead of the knock-out phase.
Red Devils manager Roberto Martinez hinted straight after the 5-2 win over Tunisia on Saturday he would change his starting XI for the final group fixture.
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Jan Vertonghen is on a yellow card and could miss the last-16 tie if he were to pick up a caution in the match with England, but he has made it clear he wants to play.
The Spurs defender recently told Press Association Sport: “It’s going to be a special game.
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“Special because I know a lot of the (England) players. It’s going to be interesting to see the guys on such a stage. My team-mates at Spurs are my friends, so it’s going to be very funny.”
Vertonghen is one of many who could be rested for the game with Belgium potentially resting Toby Alderweireld too, but it does seem Mousa Dembele will start.
On the England side of things, Harry Kane will be raring to go after his hat-trick in the 6-1 win over Panama, but he may be given a break by Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate.
Kieran Trippier has also been a regular starter, but was subbed off on Sunday as a precaution and could sit out the clash against the Red Devils.
Danny Rose made his first ever World Cup appearance off the bench and will be hoping to start, but Southgate will need to decide if Dele Alli is fit enough to face Belgium and if he should bring in Eric Dier for this contest.
After initially expecting this tie to be a battle between several of Tottenham’s best players, only a handful may end up involved from the off.
If Kane does get his wish and is handed a start, Spurs team-mate Alderweireld will hope to keep his club colleague quiet. The centre back said: “We want to stay calm.
“We want to improve our game and improve as a team. Of course we want to do something special, that’s why we are here, but we are keeping two feet on the ground.”