We can all agree that it’s not the game we wanted to be playing.
Presumably (definitely) because of the financial benefits, FIFA still believe the World Cup third-place play-off is a worthwhile thing.
England will take part in this weird and wonderful tradition after Croatia knocked the Three Lions out in the semi-finals. Sigh.
Belgium will be the opponents for Gareth Southgate’s men after they were beaten 1-0 by France in the other semi-final.
It’s effectively a meeting of the losers club.
The game will be the second between in the pair already at the tournament, after Roberto Martinez’s side faced England in the group-stages..
We all remember that game. Although we really wish that we didn’t.
It was a total no contest with both sides arguably trying to lose to ensure that they finished in the ‘easier’ side of the draw.
It was a clash of ‘B teams’, in which Belgium ran out 1-0 winners.
Today’s third-place play-off could very much be a repeat of that. Joy.
One minor solace that England can take from this extra game however is that it won’t involve a lot of travel.
The Three Lions will only need to make the short journey to Saint Petersburg to play the fixture, before they fly back home tomorrow.
Presumably if it was out in the middle of nowhere, then not even the players would give a sh*t.
Spare a thought however for the club managers. The likes of Pep Guardiola will be watching through their fingers, hoping that their players don’t pick up any injuries.
England fans are pretty torn on what to think about it all.
Is it a ‘dead rubber’ occasion, or, in fact, an opportunity to achieve our best finish at a World Cup since 1966?
Fans are totally divided on the game…