Jose Mourinho sees England’s a Group G decider with Belgium as being a “match full of friends” but which players will be cut from their opponents’ Christmas card list when the final whistle blows in Kalinigrad on Thursday?
The majority of those who take the field in Thursday’s crunch encounter play in the English Premier League and it is for this reason that RT’s special guest analyst Jose Mourinho is curious to see who comes out on top when club-mates meet each other in the international arena.
“I love this match, England/Belgium to decide something because if this match decides something it will be a match full of friends,” Mourinho says.
“The majority of Belgian players, they play in England. They play in the same teams as the English players.”
While both teams have already qualified for the knockout stages at Russia 2018, they are playing to determine who they meet in the round of 16. The game also has the added wrinkle of the second-placed finisher arguably having an easier route to the final, on paper at least.
“It will be a match with teams and players that know each other amazingly well,” Mourinho continued. “They know everything about each other and [there is] lots and lots of quality in both teams.
“So if this match means something for qualification, this is a match I don’t want to miss.”