2018 FIFA World Cup Prediction: Tunisia vs England

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Verdict: England to win with a two-goal (or bigger) margin – yes

Best Odds: 17/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

England will begin their 2018 FIFA World Cup run with a relatively easy fixture, as The Three Lions will debut against a Tunisia side that do not look like a big threat to complicate the English chances to start with a win. The game will be at Volgograd Arena, and kick-off is scheduled at 19:00 (BST).


Tunisia were one of the most surprising teams to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, as they shrugged off the challenge of DR Congo in order to return to a FIFA World Cup for the first time in 20 years. And just like it happened in that time, once again England look like the main favourite since Tunisia are not exactly a powerhouse in the African region. Considering most of their squad play within the African region or the French Ligue 1, Tunisia are not really known for having an experienced side. And to make things even more complicated, Tunisia are without a clean sheet in three matches – all against European opposition – so their defensive problems are something they need to solve before their debut. Upsets can happen on any given game and Tunisia have some interesting players worth watching such as Wahbi Khazri, but let’s be honest. They should be massive underdogs here, and it would be quite shocking if they manage to take something out of this one.

Team News

Unfortunately, Tunisia are not at full strength ahead of this game.

Defender Ali Maaloul has been dealing with a hamstring issue, and right now it is not clear whether he will be able to play or not. The left-back will be a game-time decision for this one.


Gareth Southgate is ready to carry The Three Lions to World Cup glory, but does he have what it takes to transform England from a perennial pretender to an actual title contender? That is tough to tell, but at the very least the numbers are quite kind for England since the arrival of the former centre-back to the bench. Led by a world-class striker such as Harry Kane and several other interesting pieces – such as Dele Alli, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard, among others – the Brittish side enters this game as a clear favourite based on what they have done in recent matches. Aside from winning their Group in the UEFA World Cup Qualifying campaign with ease, they have conquered some impressive results in their pre-World Cup friendlies (including a win over the Netherlands and draws against Germany, Italy and Brazil). Will they be able to translate those performances into wins when it matters the most? At the very least, England are favourites here and they need to confirm it. Starting with a win is key looking towards clinching a Round of 16 spot.

Team News

The Three Lions do not have any doubts regarding the starting XI ahead of this game. There are no suspended or injured players.

There are four Manchester United players on the squad: Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Lingard and Rashford. Young and Lingard will likely be part of the starting XI.

Key Factors to Consider

  • England and Tunisia already played in the World Cup in the past. It happened in France 1998, and England won 2-0 in that game.
  • The Three Lions are riding a 10-game undefeated streak, with seven wins and three draws over that span.
  • On the other hand, the African side has struggled of late. The African side are riding a three-game winless run (D2, L1) and have won just twice in their past five.
  • Two of the last three games – for both Tunisia and England – have seen both teams scoring (BTTS).
  • Tunisia did not win in their last three friendly matches against European opposition. They draw against Portugal and Turkey, and lost to Spain.
  • England, on the other hand, are undefeated against African opposition in competitive matches (W2, D3).


Tunisia will probably do everything in their power to pull the upset, but make no mistake. England are clear favourites here, and The Three Lions should win this contest rather comfortably. Any other outcome would be a massive disappointment.

Expect England to win by at least a two-goal margin.

Verdict: England to win with a two-goal (or bigger) margin – yes

Best Odds: 17/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

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