The two European giants Belgium and England couldn’t have wished for a better draw as they are group together with minnows Tunisia and Panama, yet handed an excellent chance to qualify for the knockouts.
The two European giants Belgium and England couldn’t have wished for a better draw as they are group together with minnows Tunisia and Panama, yet handed an excellent chance to qualify for the knockouts. They will be up against each other in the final group game, thus the result playing an important role in deciding the group winner. Yet, these star studded sides have big points to prove in Russian soil as they often fail to make deep runs in major tournaments.
The Red Devils were one of the lethal sides in qualifiers this term, scoring a total of 43 goals, conceding just 6. They were unbeaten accumulating 28 points via 9 wins and 1 draw. Only Germany earned more points in the qualifiers, who have a 100% win record in the competition.
Belgium reached the quarter finals at Brazil 2014, yet they were often criticized for ultra-defensive tactics despite having abundant quality in the attacking fore. They managed only 4 goals at the competitions, which is extremely poor turnaround considering they were grouped with Algeria, Russia and South Korea.
However, things are looking bright since Roberto Martinez too charge as head-coach. The stats from the qualifiers is an example and the more promising fact is that the Spanish born coach’s tactics is focused on taking the best out of talented attacking players like Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne. Therefore, this Belgian side won’t be boring to watch.
The Three Lions had an easy run at the qualifiers and this may come as no surprise. Gareth Southgate’s men were unbeaten in the process picking up 8 wins and 2 draws. However, it will be interesting to see if they can transfer the momentum to a major tournament. Their best at the World Cups came during the 1990 edition when they finished fourth. This was also the only occasion that the team crossed the quarter final hurdle.
As we mentioned earlier, England have a point to prove at the World Cup. They didn’t qualify from the group at Brazil failing to register a win. Despite reaching the round of 16 in South Africa, the team managed only 1 win from three group games. So, this side will be out to break underwhelming record at global stage.
The football crazy North African nation is returning to the World Cup after a 12 year hiatus. Their last appearance at the tournament was at Germany 2006, which was their third on the trot. However, they didn’t progress beyond the group stage on those three occasions after failing to register a single win.
Grouped together with the two European giants, Tunisia’s chance of making out of the group is close to nil. Their squad is largely inexperienced and lack quality in key positions.
Panama earned automatic qualification for the World Cup football finals for the first time in their history under dramatic circumstances ahead of the traditional heavy weights USA and Honduras.
The team managed only 3 wins during their 10 matches in the final qualifying round. This clearly means that the team lack a match winner who can turn tables on his own. The team managed by Colombian born coach Hernan Dario Gomez will have the service of a vastly experienced side who have been playing together for a long time. However, their stay in Russia is expected to end with the final group game against Tunisia.
Group G Predictions and Bet Tips
Exact Finishing Order (1st & 2nd placed) – Belgium & England for 2.25 odds.
Panama to finish bottom for 1.53 odds.