England will expect to secure qualification to the last 16 with victory over Panama, a result that would eliminate the Central Americans in the process. Despite a very impressive opening game performance, the Three Lions had to wait until stoppage time until Harry Kane popped up with a winner against Tunisia. They won’t expect the game in Nizhny Novgorod to be anywhere near as dramatic although Panama will have other ideas.
They are arguably the weakest side in the tournament but they put up a spirited fight against Belgium, holding them for 45 minutes. Ultimately, the class told and they lost 3-0 but they did miss a great chance to equalise when they trailed by just a goal. Either way, they know it will be a tough afternoon again but the sweltering conditions could help them with England unable to play a high intensity game for the full 90 minutes.
Here we will give you England vs Panama betting tips, look at where the game will be won, the key players and a England vs Panama prediction for the Group G encounter.
Our England vs Panama Prediction: England 3-0 Panama
Our England vs Panama prediction tips is for Gareth Southgate’s men to have a comfortable afternoon and seal the win, and progress, with ease.
England were magnificent in the first half last time out, cutting Tunisia open at ease and they were arguably the best side in match day one. Replicating that is possible, although as mentioned the heat could be a factor and it could slow the pace of the game. Overall though, England’s attacking movement, pace and intelligence should be too much for Panama to handle.
The minnows will make it tough and are very physical in their approach but they struggle to stop players getting in between the lines and the likes of Jesse Lingard, Raheem Sterling and Ruben Loftus-Cheek will really hope to cause problems in the attacking third.
Our recommended tip – England to win to nil
Given that, we are expecting a comfortable afternoon for England, who shouldn’t be troubled at all by Panama, meaning they will win to nil.
The back three that Southgate adopts will easily deal with the threat of the lone Panama striker and should mop up anything that comes their way. That will give England a solid base to play from and it should mean the majority of the game is played in the Panama half. They could offer a threat from set-plays but in reality it’s going to be unlikely that they will make chances.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, as this is Panama’s first World Cup, their clash against England will be the first time the two nations have ever met.
As for their recent games, as mentioned, England performed well but they only secured three points against Tunisia late on and both goals came from set-plays. The manner of the first-half performance will please fans but they will need to be more clinical as the tournament progresses if they are to be successful.
Whereas, Panama gave a decent account of themselves against Belgium given the gulf in class. The first goal, which is always key in these matches, was a stunner by Dries Mertens too. They looked reasonably well organised, showed a lot of fight and determination and that’s what they came to Russia to do. They knew they had little chance of qualifying but will relish the role of underdogs against England once again.
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Players to watch – Harry Kane & Marco Reus
One of the most prolific strikers at the World Cup this year, Kane will look to add to his brace against Tunisia in his chase for the golden boot. The Spurs striker will need service of the likes of teammates Jesse Lingard, Kieran Trippier and Raheem Sterling but will fancy his chances of getting enough opportunities against a Panama defence that conceded three last time out.
He may be restricted to a role as a substitute, but the 20 year old is one of the young prodigies of this World Cup. Panama will look to sit deep and Rashford could be key for England running at their defence with his electric pace and good movement. He has made big contributions for the Three Lions in recent weeks and will hope to do so today, even if he has to be patient for his chance.