The two sides are out on the pitch in Leuven and stand for their countries’ respective national anthems. Belgium’s has a bit more pep to it. Let’s see if that pep makes its way onto the pitch for the hosts.
Belgium have suffered just one defeat in their last 16 matches across all competitions, although that was against England at Wembley last month. In fact, the hosts are unbeaten in their last 23 home games since losing to Spain in September 2016. Kane is now the 62nd player to reach 50 caps for England, with his 32 goals in those caps only bettered by Jimmy Greaves’ 43. If Kane can channel his recent form for Tottenham here, England have a chance.
Both sides bring back their big guns after giving their squad players a runout in their friendlies mid-week. Belgium make nine changes from their 2-1 victory over Switzerland, while there are eight changes to England from their 3-0 win against the Republic of Ireland. Pickford returns in goal; Mings, Mount, and Grealish keep their places; and Harry Maguire is suspended after his sending-off against Denmark last month.
SUBS: Bukayo Saka, Nick Pope, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Michael Keane, Jadon Sancho, Dean Henderson, Phil Foden, Jude Bellingham, Tammy Abraham, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Harry Winks.
ENGLAND (3-4-3): Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, Eric Dier, Tyrone Mings; Kieran Trippier, Declan Rice, Jordan Henderson, Ben Chilwell; Mason Mount, Harry Kane (c), Jack Grealish.
SUBS: Dodi Lukebakio, Michy Batshuayi, Hannes Delcroix, Yari Verschaeren, Brandon Mechele, Hans Vanaken, Nacer Chadli, Simon Mignolet, Thomas Foket, Dennis Praet, Koen Casteels, Christian Benteke.
BELGIUM (3-4-3): Thibaut Courtois; Toby Alderweireld, Jason Denayer, Jan Vertonghen (c); Thomas Meunier, Axel Witsel, Youri Tielemans, Thorgan Hazard; Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku. Kevin De Bruyne.
After last month’s come-from-behind victory, Gareth Southgate’s England arrive in Belgium knowing they realistically need another win to topple Belgium from the top of the group. England have recorded back-to-back wins over their hosts twice before, back in 1999 and 2012. Belgium are a different proposition these days, of course. A result for the visitors will not come easy.
Belgium welcome England for a competitive match for the first time in history in what is likely to be a pivotal match to decide the winner of Group A2. On their boss’ 50th match in charge, Roberto Martinez’s world number ones will be looking to avenge their 2-1 defeat at Wembley last month.
Hello! Welcome to our live text commentary of this UEFA Nations League Group A2 match between Belgium and England at Den Dreef.