When the World Cup draw was first released, the final game of Group G between England and Belgium looked like a tantalising prospect - two European superpowers facing off in a match that would likely decide the group winners.
Both sides - packed with Premier League talent - have sailed through Group G, winning their two games and are now in the curious situation of weighing up whether they even want to top the section.
England now sits ahead of Belgium in the standings, but that could change even if the teams draw, as England is in first due to the "fair play" tiebreaker, which scores teams based on yellow and red cards when goal differential and goals scored aren't enough to determine a victor.
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"We know what we're up against, we know their players inside out and know what we've got to do".
"We're going to face tougher challenges in the next few games and at the moment we can't consider ourselves a top team until we start to beat one of those teams", said Southgate.
"It's very important for us to protect and give every player the best possible programme to be in the best condition for the knockout games".
"We think that we need to keep winning football matches", he said.
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"Kane can hurt us", he said.
Roberto Martinez has already indicated that he will ring the changes against England.
There have been two games so far that have produced seven goals in each.
"There's a long way to go and a lot of good players just behind me [on the scoring list]". "And your job as a manager can't be just to keep people happy".
Both teams have already qualified for the last 16 and, with one of Colombia, Japan or Senegal lurking in the second round, there has even been some talk that England might have an easier route through the tournament if they lose in Kaliningrad on Thursday.
"I would rather him on the bench and then coming on for the last 20 minutes, half an hour", Campbell said to Sky Sports News. But of course as a player you don't really feel that until you're able to play.
Ahead of the tournament, there was little fanfare around England - a change from previous competitions where pundits at home believed that they should be genuine contenders. Yes, he wants to win the Golden Boot but then you have got to save the legs.
"From your legs to your mental approach, I think it all factors in". That would mean we top the group. Sweden or Switzerland would await in the last eight with one of Spain, Russia, Croatia or Denmark standing between them and a place in the final.