Romelu Lukaku is a player who needs a target to motivate him. The prospect of pipping Harry Kane to the Golden Boot will have him fired up and raring to go.
This was a personal battle we were denied in the group stage when both managers made wholesale changes, but there is plenty at stake for the pair this afternoon.
When he was still at Everton in March last year, Lukaku (right) said there was nothing he could learn from Kane. He will be eager to prove he is top dog in Russia – and win the bronze medal in the process.
I was disappointed with the Manchester United forward’s performance in the semi-final against France. He touched the ball just 22 times – the fewest of any player who started the match – and did not look sharp in front of goal.
Lukaku seemed at his most threatening when he played wide on the right in the quarter-final against Brazil. He was a thorn in the side of Marcelo. For the semi-final, he was back playing through the middle and was not as effective. Playing on the right will give him the best chance of winning the Golden Boot.
How Roberto Martinez sets up his midfield will be key. Kevin De Bruyne has been most lethal when he has played high up the pitch, such as against Brazil when he scored a wonderful goal. If Martinez plays a midfield two against England’s three, his side could be outnumbered and De Bruyne (right) will be forced to drop deep.
Raheem Sterling will be desperate to return home with a goal. There are so many things he has done in Russia that have impressed me. Sterling has worked tirelessly off the ball, dropped deep to give England an extra body in midfield to develop play and has been a willing runner into the channels.
His confidence in front of goal is the only thing that has been missing. There were couple of chances from which he could have scored or pulled the ball back for Harry Kane.
Ultimately, when you play in the front two you need to be scoring. Find the net today and he will repay Gareth Southgate’s faith for sticking with him throughout the tournament.
It would be a perfect way to sign off – and mean that he will be brimming with confidence when England next meet up for the Nations League in September.