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Martinez backs England to shine at World Cup

RobertoMartinez - cropped Belgium coach Roberto Martinez (source: Getty Images)

Roberto Martinez has backed Gareth Southgate’s youthful England side to perform strongly at the World Cup in Russia.

Southgate has selected the third-youngest squad for the 2018 tournament, including uncapped teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold.

England’s 23-man travelling party are lacking in World Cup experience with just 11 finals appearances among them, but Belgium manager Martinez expects their Group G rivals to impress on the global stage.

“I always followed England very closely,” the former Everton boss told Omnisport.

“They are a group of players that now, with the good work of Gareth Southgate, have brought a group of young players he knew very well from his involvement with the under 21s.

“And then he’s kept a really good mixture and has given the English team a real clear direction of players playing in a certain way that has allowed them to compete against the best in the world.

“So, I expect England to do really well at the World Cup.

“They are in a really good moment to go into a tournament and carry on the winning feeling that St George’s Park has brought to the national teams. 

“We’ve seen the success with the under 17s, the under 20s. I think it’s something that we’re going to see going through the senior level.”

Belgium face in England in their final group game on June 28 in Kaliningrad.

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