2018 FIFA World Cup Prediction: England vs Panama

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Verdict: Over 2,5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 17/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

The Three Lions got off to a fast start in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and while they had to work harder than expected, in the end they clinched a 2-1 win over Tunisia that gave the side their first three points. They could clinch a spot in the Round of 16 this Sunday, when they take on a Panama side that is coming off a huge 3-0 defeat over Belgium.


England did not have their best performance in the game against Tunisia, as they failed to take advantage of most of the scoring chances they created. Between the posts, the inability of players to solve scoring situations (merely Raheem Sterling) and some bad luck, England only had to settle for two poacher-style goals from Harry Kane to clinch the win against a hard-working Tunisia side. And as a result, England could secure a Round of 16 berth here because Belgium’s win over Tunisia made things quite simple: if England win against Panama, both The Three Lions and The Red Devils will qualify for the knockout stages. That should be enough motivation for a Brittish side that need to play better than what they did against Tunisia if their plan is to reach the next round of the competition. With that in mind, it is safe to say that England will likely take the initiative here.

Team News

There could be several changes in England for this game. Dele Alli and Raheem Sterling are almost certain to leave the starting XI.

Marcus Rashford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are the likely replacements. With this, Manchester United could have up to three players in the lineup in Rashford, Ashley Young and Jesse Lingard.


It is quite hard to analyse what Panama did in their game against Belgium, as they merely attacked and operated on a negative stance during most of the contest. They held on for one half, but c0uldn’t resist in the second half and eventually lost 3-0 against a far stronger side. Will we see a similar approach and a similar outcome in this one? After all, Panama are not known for their attacking talent, and it is easy to imagine them struggling against a stronger, more technical, and faster side such as England. Truthfully, Panama’s best chances to get something out of this game would be to repeat the same approach they had against Belgium: try to hold on as much as they can, operate on a negative stance, hit their rivals on the counter, and wait until they can create at least one scoring chance.  They might concede a bag of goals if they decide to go toe-to-toe against England.

Team News

Panama are not expected to make too many changes to the side that played against Belgium.

In fact, manager Hernan Dario Gomez already confirmed that he will repeat the same starting XI from last game.

Key Factors to Consider

  • England are unbeaten in 11 games (W8, D3), while Panama have one win in eight (W1, D2, L5).
  • England have not conceded two goals in a game in the last 11 contests.
  • Panama have scored just one goal in their last five matches across all competitions.
  • Only three of England’s last 10 games has had over 2.5 goals. None has had over 3.5 goals.
  • Panama have not scored more than one goal in their last eight matches.


England should not have problems to run away with this game. Therefore, we will focus on goals here. So far, all three Group G matches have ended with over 2,5 goals, and based on the difference of quality between both sides, I don’t expect anything different here.

Over 2,5 goals seems like a sound, safe bet.

Verdict: Over 2,5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 17/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

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