Best Odds: 17/20
Group G right from the start looked the one group that was going to be less interesting than others, as Belgium and England were always going to be big favourites to finish in the places that lead to round of 16. After the first round of matches, it seems like that is even more likely to happen, as Tunisia and Panama both lost against them. This clash between Belgium and Tunisia should make things even less interesting and get Belgium – and possibly England against Panama as well – to qualify to the knockout stages.
Started their World Cup journey with a decent, convincing win against a weak Panama side. It was not a great first half for Roberto Martinez’s side, as Belgium struggled to score. They did not even create too many chances in those 45 minutes and Panama did well to keep Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and others at bay. Of course, things changed in the second half, as Belgium found another gear and the CONCACAF side could not keep their levels for the whole 90 minutes. Belgium started creating better chances and, more importantly, scoring goals. Lukaku played a big part in that, as he scored twice, to confirm a nice and solid victory for the Red Devils. Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne assisted him with his brace and those were his only two shots on target in that match, proving just how clinical he can be. He will be crucial for Belgium’s hopes of reaching the semifinals and this was definitely a good start in the right direction.
Belgium are not in full strength for this match. Vincent Kompany got injured in one of the June friendlies, but the injury is not as serious and that is why he is part of the 23-man squad.
Tunisia lost their opening match against England, which was not a surprise in itself. Before the match, most of the people would have expected that to happen, but the manner of it was the one that was very important. Tunisia made a lot of trouble to this young England side, even though the Three Lions started really well. Yet, Tunisia equalized from the spot and from then on, they managed to create problems for their rivals. In the end, it was Harry Kane who came to the rescue with a brace on his World Cup debut to win it for England, but both of those goals should not have happened had Tunisia had players standing on both posts at set pieces. They did not and that cost them a point. Now, against Belgium, the task will be even bigger.
Tunisia will be without Mouez Hassen as he got injured just 15 minutes into the match against England.
Key Factors to Consider
- Belgium scored 43 goals in 10 qualifying matches, averaging 4.3 goals scored per match and now added three more against Panama
- Romelu Lukaku is Belgium’s top scorer at the age of 25 and that should be enough to worry
- Tunisia made just one shot on target against England and it came via penalty kick
Belgium are huge favourites and they should be winning this one with ease. They might get a big lead early on and choose to not spend too much energy before the England game.
Verdict: Belgium win and over 2.5 goals
Best Odds: 17/20