World Cup Preview – Group G | England v Panama

England will book their place in the last 16 of the World Cup finals with victory over Panama on Sunday.

The Three Lions impressed for large parts of their game with Tunisia, but they needed a last-minute goal from captain Harry Kane to spare their blushes.

Panama suffered a 3-0 loss to Belgium first time out, but Southgate refuses to take them lightly.

“It’s hard to win a match in the World Cup against anyone. Panama were obdurate opponents against Belgium for 45 minutes, so we’ll have to prepare 100 per cent for that game to get the right result,” he said.

“We are a team who are improving and developing. There will always be things we can get better at. We’re a long way from perfection.”

Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo insists that they are happy to continue learning.

“We came here to learn and to compete,” he said.

If we want to continue competing, we need to perform well against them. Starting from there you know that its going to be a match full of adrenaline, because we depend on that result to keep going forward in the tournament.”

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 13:00 Panama
Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod
Live on BBC

England: Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire; Kieran Trippier, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard, Ashley Young; Marcus Rashford, Harry Kane

Panama: Jaime Penedo; Roman Torres, Fidel Escobar, Michael Murillo, Eric Davis; Gabriel Gomez, Anibal Godoy, Armando Cooper, Edgar Barcenas, Jose Luis Rodriguez; Blas Perez

KEY FACT: England haven’t won consecutive games at the World Cup since their opening two in 2006. And have only ever won their opening two games on two occasions (1982 and 2006)
Match odds from bet365: ENGLAND 2/9 DRAW 11/2 PANAMA 18/1
bet365 Pick: Harry Maguire to score anytime @9/1
ANDY SAYS: A love the way England are playing and for me they win this easily….4-0
GRAEME SAYS: I think it depends how England start, early goal it could be a big score…3-1
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Ruben Loftus-Cheek – he is ready to start for England and he is one you need to keep an eye on and invest in

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