Manchester City defenders John Stones and Vincent Kompany will be reunited on the game’s biggest stage when England face Belgium in the battle to top Group G, but the pair will not discuss football according to the Three Lions centre-back.
When Kompany was fit the pair forged an important pairing in City’s formidable title-winning defence in 2017-18 and Stones said he hoped the injuries that have dogged his team-mate over the last three years would not prevent him from being involved on Thursday.
After missing the Red Devils’ opening 3-0 victory over Panama, Kompany was an unused substitute as they beat Tunisia 5-2 in their second group game.
“It will be nice to have a chat, but probably [about] non-football-related things!
“We all want to win the game, and afterwards we’ll shake hands and it’ll be how it always is.”
The winner of Thursday’s clash will top Group G and face the runner-up in Group H in the round of 16 and Stones said he expected a tough task against Kompany, De Bruyne and Co.
Fellow City players Fabian Delph, Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker complete a healthy contingent of Premier League champions in England’s squad and Stones said Gareth Southgate’s men are looking forward to being tested against some of the world’s best.
“It will be a very interesting game,” he said. “Belgium are a top international team with a lot of quality players, and it will be interesting for me with a few familiar faces.