Should England lose to Belgium?

Posted on June 28th, 2018   

England are going into their third and final match against Belgium this evening as favourites to with the match (38% chance of winning), but should they win it?


There has been much discussion in the past couple of days on the potential benefits of England finishing second in group G to have an easier run of fixtures in the knock-out stages of the competition.

If England finish second in the group, they have a 7.7% chance of winning the World Cup compared to only a 6.2% chance if they finish first (the calculations were run before the last set of group H fixtures were played, so the teams that finished first and second in group H are not known at the time of writing). This is largely due to the likely event of having to face Brazil in the Quarter finals if they progress to the round of 16 as top of group G rather than Sweden or Switzerland if they finish second in the group.

The full list of likely opponents for each stage of the competition can be found below.

Regardless of the result tonight, England fans can take comfort in knowing that they are guaranteed to go through to the round of 16. It will be interesting to see if they choose to do that by giving it all they’ve got or prefer to game the system and maximise their chances of winning the world cup.