England and Belgium have both already guaranteed spots in the Round of 16, but Thursday’s match in Kaliningrad between what have been two of the most exciting teams this World Cup should nevertheless be an entertaining one.
In the United States, the game is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on both Fox (English broadcast) and Telemundo (Spanish broadcast). If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch the game–and every other World Cup game–live on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
Fox (live in most markets) and Telemundo are both included in the “Fubo Premier” bundle, which has a channel package that is largely tailored towards international soccer fans and also has World Cup live streams available in 4K. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial right here, and you can then watch any World Cup game live on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app.
If you can’t watch the game live, FuboTV comes with 30 hours of Cloud DVR (with the ability to upgrade to 500 hours), as well as a “72-Hour Lookback” feature, which allows you to watch any World Cup game up to three days after it airs even if you forgot to record it.
In addition to a Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu also offers a bundle of live TV channels, including both Fox (live in most markets) and Telemundo. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch every World Cup game live on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
If you can’t watch the game live, “Hulu with Live TV” also comes with 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of DVR space and the ability to fast forward through commercials), allowing you to watch any game after it airs.
Fox (but not Telemundo) is included in the “Sling Blue” package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial of both, and you can then watch any World Cup game live on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app.
If you can’t watch a game live, you can get 50 hours of cloud DVR storage as an additional add-on.
England and Belgium have featured by far the most efficient attacks this World Cup, each pouring in a whopping eight goals through two games. That’s an average of 4.0 per game for all you non-math majors out there, while no other team in the tournament is averaging even three per match.
Unfortunately for this potentially entertaining match, it appears as though many normal starters will get a rest with both teams already guaranteed a spot in the knockout round.
“It will be major (team) changes against England,” Belgium coach Roberto Martinez said. “The reality is that we are qualified and in a tournament like the World Cup, you’re only as good as the 23 players (in the squad). There will be opportunities for other players.”
So, potentially no Romelu Lukaku or Harry Kane, two stars who are right in the thick of the race for the Golden Boot. Potentially no Eden Hazard or Kevin de Bruyne, two world-class midfielders for Belgium. Potentially no Raheem Sterling or Kieran Trippier, who have been excellent going forward for England.
It’s unfortunate for the entertainment value if a bunch of starters are rested, but that’s the nature of the World Cup. Games are only going to get bigger and more important from here on out, and having the opportunity to get healthy is something coaches don’t want to pass up.
That doesn’t necessarily mean the players agree.
“It is his (England coach Gareth Southgate’s) decision, I guess,” said Kane. “Obviously I want to play, I want to perform. Whatever decision he makes, it is his decision.”
Nevertheless, both of these rosters are deep with talent, and no matter who starts on Thursday, it should be an exciting match–especially with first place in the group still on the line.