June 29, 2018 / 8:04 AM / 10 months ago

England's World Cup odds improve despite Belgium defeat

Soccer Football - World Cup - Group G - England vs Belgium - Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad, Russia - June 28, 2018 Belgium's Mousa Dembele and Leander Dendoncker in action with England's Ruben Loftus-Cheek REUTERS/Lee Smith

(Reuters) - The odds on England lifting their second World Cup title have improved despite their loss against Belgium in their final group game on Thursday, Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has said.

Belgium finished top of Group G after a 1-0 victory at Kaliningrad but a second-place finish could prove to be a blessing in disguise for England who are on the relatively easier side of the draw in the knockout stages.

Paddy Power boosted England to 7/1 favourites to lift the trophy for the first time since 1966 after the game, compared to the pre-match odds of 15/2.

“England are very unEngland this tournament – even when they’re losing they’re winning under Gareth Southgate,” a Paddy Power spokesperson said in a statement.

“So, yes, the odds have actually improved after that loss

... but beating Colombia is hardly a foregone conclusion”.

The result meant England would face a tricky Colombia side in the last 16 on Tuesday and a victory would ensure a less perilous quarter-final game against either Sweden or Switzerland.

Belgium take on Japan on Monday in the first knockout round but a win could pitch them against five-time winners Brazil, who face Mexico in the last 16.

One among Spain, Russia, Croatia and Denmark will await Gareth Southgate’s team if they progress to the semi-finals for the first time since 1990.

Reporting By Arnab Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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