KALININGRAD, Russia (Reuters) - England players can use knowledge of their Belgian club team mates to their advantage ahead of the World Cup Group G top-spot decider in Kaliningrad, midfielder Eric Dier said on Wednesday.
Dier has played six minutes for England at the World Cup in Russia, but coach Gareth Southgate confirmed the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder will start against Belgium, with both teams having booked their places in the last 16.
Victory for either would see them top Group G, and Dier believes familiarity with many of the Belgians on Thursday could help England’s cause.
“Myself and others we play with a lot of the Belgium players back home,” Dier told reporters. “As team mates we know each other better than other opposition.
“We obviously don’t know what team Belgium will play, or what team we will play, but myself I know their strong points, and maybe a few weaknesses of the players I play with at my club and the others at theirs.
“Maybe we can use them to our advantage, individually and as team, if that opportunity arises.”
Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne and Toby Alderweireld are among the Belgium players who are with Premier League clubs.
Editing by Ed Osmond