Thibaut Courtois says pride at stake against England in World Cup

Thibaut Courtois knows bragging rights are on the line as he prepares to take on his Chelsea team-mates when Belgium face England on Thursday.

The two sides face each other to decide who tops Group G, with Roberto Martinez already promising to make “major changes” to his Belgian line-up.

Much has been made of the fact that a first-placed finish is likely to lead to the tougher side of the draw. However, for Courtois, the prospect of facing his Premier League team-mates means there is added spice to the game.

“I don’t think it matters if you finish second or first. But if you want to have that winning feeling, it’s best to keep winning. And for me there is pride at stake. I don’t want to go back to England in July with a losing feeling.

“It’s about prestige because they have a lot of guys we know and we have a lot of guys they know.”

Eden Hazard agreed with his Chelsea team-mate, saying: “We want to win our group. Not only for ourselves but to make a statement to our next opponents – we are Belgium, we are the group winners and we have beaten England.”

Hazard is one of several players who could be rested for the game after he sustained a calf injury in the win against Tunisia. Romelu Lukaku, who is up against Harry Kane in the race for the golden boot, is also an injury doubt after taking a knock to his heel. Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi is likely to lead the line if Belgium’s top scorer is rested.