World Cup Preview – Group G | England v Belgium – Panama v Tunisia

England and Belgium meet on Thursday, which will decide who wins Group G.

Gareth Southgate and Roberto Martinez have already guided their teams into the knockout stages, but their game in Kaliningrad will decide the outcome of the group.

Intriguingly, the team finishing second could arguably have the easier passage going forward, but coaches have played down suggestions they would be happy to lose the match.

“We want to win every game we go into,” said Southgate. “I don’t know how we would go into a game not wanting to win and not wanting to play well. So, I think that’s dangerous territory if we start trying to plot and predict where we might end up.

“We had a really favourable draw, we all thought, in the last tournament [Euro 2016] and it didn’t work out that way.

“I think we just have to keep playing as well as we can, keep preparing the team the right way, keep the momentum and I have to keep the squad involved. That’s the one thing I think is really important.”

And whilst Martinez is looking to win, he could make up to ten changes for the game and has no plans to play anyone already carrying a yellow card.

“We’re preparing for two games at the same time, for the England game and the next one as well,” Martínez said.

“I think everyone deserves to play in the World Cup. So it’s more important for me to be able to give that opportunity and see how they can react on the pitch and how much they can contribute.

“Nobody has got a place guaranteed in this team at the moment. That’s the way we are looking at it. So it could be a possibility to do that, yes.”

The other game in the group sees Tunisia and Panama both looking for their first points of the finals before heading home.

See below for a preview on the games, including predictions from former England and Tottenham midfielder Andy Gray and our own Football Insider Graeme Bailey and bet365’s Steve Freeth.

England 19:00 Belgium
Kaliningrad Arena. Kaliningrad
Live on ITV

England: Jordan Pickford; Phil Jones, John Stones, Gary Cahill; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Eric Dier, Jesse Lingard, Danny Rose; Marcus Rashford, Harry Kane

Belgium: Thibaut Courtois; Thomas Vermaelen, Dedryck Boyata, Toby Alderweireld; Mousa Dembele, Marouane Fellaini, Nacer Chadli, Thorgan Hazard, Youri Tielemans, Eden Hazard, Michy Batshuayi

KEY FACT: England and Belgium are set to meet in Kaliningrad to play each other at the World Cup for the first time since the Round of 16 at Italy 1990
Match odds from bet365: ENGLAND 17/10 DRAW 11/5 BELGIUM 19/10
bet365 Pick: Draw @11/5
ANDY SAYS: Neither side really want to win this, so could see this playing out in a draw…1-1
GRAEME SAYS: With Belgium resting their big name, you have to think that England are going to win this…1-0
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Harry Kane – leading by example and his value could go higher and higher on the Index

Panama 19:00 Tunisia
Saransk Arena, Saransk
Live on ITV



KEY FACT: The last time Panama faced an African team was South Africa during the 2005 Gold Cup
Match odds from bet365: PANAMA 7/2 DRAW 11/4 TUNISIA 17/20
bet365 Pick: 0-0 @11/1
ANDY SAYS: I favour Tunisia finishing on a high here and getting the win…0-2
GRAEME SAYS: Have not been impressed with Panama so have to go with Tunisia to claim the win…1-3
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Wahbi Khazri – should be the best player on the pitch

Football INDEX is a stockmarket game where players, known as Traders, take a position on the “future success” of footballers with real money – CLICK HERE to play and start winning, and take advantage of your £20 cashback only with TheGamblingTimes.

Related Posts

This website is strictly for over 18’s. If you do have any concerns about gambling please contact GambleAware
© 2023 The Gambling Times. All rights reserved.