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england18Belgium, England, Tunisia and Panama will contest Group G of the 2018 Fifa World Cup and we take a look at the form, squads and outright betting markets concerning each nation.

 

 

 

Note, odds quoted are an average price, accurate at the time of writing but subject to change

 

Belgium:

Qualification: Topped their group in some style finishing 9 points clear of Greece who subsequently missed out in the play offs

Form: Belgium came through their group unbeaten with 9 wins and 1 draw, scoring 43 goals and conceding just 6.

Their last major tournament was Euro 2016. They made it though their group with 2 wins and 1 defeat, thrashed Hungary 4-0 in the last 16 but bowed out in the quarter finals, losing 3-1 to Wales.

Belgium were also unbeaten in qualifying for the World Cup 2014 finals in Brazil where they came through their group with a 100% record after beating Russia, Algeria and South Korea. They edged past USA in the first knockout round but then bumped into Argentina and they lost 1-0.

Belgium have faced 3 fellow finalists in friendly matches this year, they beat Saudi Arabia 4-0 in March and more recently they drew 0-0 with Portugal and beat Egypt 3-0.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg), Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool).

Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Thomas Meunier (Paris St-Germain), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham).

Midfielders: Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Mousa Dembele (Tottenham), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Youri Tielemans (Monaco), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian).

Forwards: Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea), Nacer Chadli (West Brom), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United), Dries Mertens (Napoli).

Betting:

To win the group 8/10

To qualify from the group 1 / 10

 

England:

Qualification: Topped their group finishing 8 points clear of Slovakia and Scotland.

Form: England were unbeaten in qualifying, winning 8 and drawing 2 with 18 goals scored and 3 conceded.

In Euro 2016 England came through the group with a 2-1 win over Wales either side of draws with Slovakia and Russia but in the first knockout round they suffered a humiliating 2-1 defeat to Iceland.

In the World Cup 2014 finals England had a nightmare, losing to Italy and Uruguay (both 2-1) before drawing 0-0 with Costa Rica and taking the first plane home.

Two recent warm up matches saw England beat Nigeria 2-1 and Costa Rica 2-0.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley).

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United).

Midfielders: Dele Alli, Eric Dier (both Tottenham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea).

Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal).

Betting:

To win the group 23/20

To qualify from the group 1 / 8

 

 

Tunisia:

Qualification: Topped their group finishing 1 point clear of DR Congo with Libya and Guinea also missing out

Form: Tunisia won 4 and drew 2 of their qualifying matches, scoring 11 goals and conceding 4 to seal their place in these finals.

Their last major tournament was AFCON 2017 and despite losing their first match to Senegal, subsequent victories over Algeria and Zimbabwe saw them progress to the first knockout round where they lost 2-0 to Burkina Faso.

Tunisia haven’t made it to the World Cup finals since 2006 when they drew with Saudi Arabia before defeats to Spain and Ukraine saw them head home early.

In March this year Tunisia beat Iran and Costa Rica (both 1-0) in friendly internationals and more recently they drew 2-2 with Portugal and Turkey and lost 1-0 to Spain.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Farouk Ben Mustapha (Al Shabab), Mouez Hassen (Nice), Aymen Mathlouthi (Al Baten).

Defenders: Rami Bedoui (Etoile du Sahel), Yohan Benalouane (Leicester), Syam Ben Youssef (Kasimpasa), Dylan Bronn (Gent), Oussama Haddadi (Dijon), Ali Maaloul (Al Ahly), Yassine Meriah (CS Sfaxien), Hamdi Nagguez (Zamalek).

Midfielders: Wahbi Khazri (Sunderland), Anice Badri (Esperance), Mohamed Amine Ben Amor (Etoile Sportive du Sahel), Ferjani Sassi (Al Nasr), Ellyes Skhiri (Montpellier).

Forwards: Saifeddine Khaoui (Marseille), Fakhreddine Ben Youssef (Al Ettifaq), Saber Khalifa (Club Africain), Bassem Srarfi (Nice), Naim Sliti (Lille), Ahmed Khalil (Club Africain), Ghaylen Chaaleli (Esperance).

Betting:

To win the group 31/2

To qualify from the group 73/20

 

Panama:

Qualification: Grabbed the third automatic qualification place in North and Central America finishing 3 points behind Costa Rica and 8 behind Mexico.

Form: Panama won 3, drew 4 and lost 3 of their group matches in the final round of qualifying in their region, scoring 9 goals and conceding 10.

In recent warm up matches Panama drew 0-0 with Northern Ireland and lost 1-0 to Norway whilst in March they crashed to a 6-0 defeat against Switzerland.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Jose Calderon (Chorrillo), Jaime Penedo (Dinamo Bucharest), Alex Rodriguez (San Francisco).

Defenders: Felipe Baloy (Municipal CSD), Harold Cummings (San Jose Earthquakes), Erick Davis (Dunajska Streda), Fidel Escobar (San Miguelito), Michael Murillo (New York Red Bulls), Adolfo Machado (Houston Dynamo), Luis Ovalle (Olimpia), Roman Torres (Seattle Sounders).

Midfielders: Jose Luis Rodriguez (Gent), Yoel Barcenas (Cafetaleros de Tapachula), Armando Cooper (Universidad de Chile), Anibal Godoy (San Jose Earthquakes), Gabriel Gomez (Bucaramanga), Valentin Pimentel (Plaza Amador), Alberto Quintero (Universitario).

Forwards: Abdiel Arroyo (Alajuelense), Ismael Diaz (Deportivo La Coruna), Blas Perez (Municipal), Luis Tejada (Sports Boys), Gabriel Torres (CD Huachipato).

Betting:

To win the group 40/1

To qualify from the group 15/2

 

Verdict:

Panama look likely to be out of their depth and given their opponents Belgium and England had excellent defensive records in qualifying and with Tunisia looking solid enough, they get my vote to score the fewest goals in the overall tournament.

 

Bet: World Cup - Team to Score Fewest Goals in the Tournament, Panama at 13/2

 

forumRemember you can have your own say on all this week’s matches on our discussion forum

 

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