World Cup 2018: Group G Preview, Predictions and Best Bets…


Roberto Martinez’ side have had the ‘dark horse’ label slapped on them in 2014 as well as 2016 but they could manage no further than the quarter final stages in both tournaments. The hype surrounding Belgium’s golden generation over the last few has been justified when you consider their side reads like a computer game dream team with the ‘unlimited budget’ cheat switched on, however they’ve failed to effectively click as a unit. Over a third of their 23-man squad are over the age of 30 so this could well be there last big chance of finally living up to expectation.

Expect…everyone to talk about how they fancy Belgium as the dark horses…again.

Key Player: Kevin De Bruyne
Group Prediction: 1st
Stage of Elimination: Quarter Final
Best Bet: To Reach the Quarter Finals (4/7)


Only in Panama could a national holiday be declared following qualification for a World Cup, and that’s exactly what their president ordered after they clinched a 2-1 victory over Costa Rica thanks to an 88th minute winner. Coach Hernan Dario Gomez has named the oldest average squad this summer at 29 years and 236 days old which include the likes of strikers Luis Tejada and Blas Perez and 36 and 37 years of age respectively. Nine goals in 10 qualification games was enough to see them over the line but will be a problem when they come to face improved opposition.

Expect…Panama fans to make the most of taking part in Russia whatever happens.

Key Player: Roman Torres
Group Prediction: 4th
Stage of Elimination: Group Stage
Best Bet: Tournament Lowest Scorers (7/1)




Tunisia have qualified for their first World Cup finals since 2006, after agonising efforts in 2010 and 2014 respectively. Their hopes of upsetting the odds in Group G were dealt a huge blow when their star player in qualification Yousuf Msakni was ruled out for six months following a knee injury in April. Tunisia have gone 11 games without a win in World Cup tournaments, failing to score in seven. While maximum points against Belgium and England might prove to be a mammoth effort, their final group game against Panama may provide them the perfect opportunity not to go home empty handed.

Expect…time wasting and play-acting should they have a sniff of any points against the big two.

Key Player: Naim Sliti
Group Prediction: 3rd
Stage of Elimination: Group Stage
Best Bet: To Win a Group G Match (4/5)


Despite qualifying without too much trouble and remaining unbeaten for the past 12 months expectations on England are not as rife as they once were for major tournaments. Coach Gareth Southgate has opted for youth and energy over experience, naming the second youngest squad in Russia. They are also the only nation for whom all 23 members of their squad are based in their own country, with every single player plying their trade in the Premier League. Fans can appreciate that Southgate is trying to build for the future but many will be quietly confident on England’s chances this summer, especially with one of Europe’s most potent marksmen in Harry Kane starting to hit his peak.

Expect…them to make hard work of their opening game but to get out of the group and take things from there.

Key Player: Harry Kane
Group Prediction: 2nd
Stage of Elimination: Quarter Final
Best Bet: Harry Kane Top England Goalscorer (1/1)

Group G Fixtures

June 18 | Belgium v Panama (16:00)
June 18 | Tunisia v England (19:00)

June 23 | Belgium v Tunisia (13:00)
June 24 | England v Panama (13:00)

June 28 | England v Belgium (19:00)
June 28 | Panama v Tunisia (19:00)

Group G Forecast


Group GProjected PointsWin GroupGroup Qualification

World Cup 2018 Group Previews:

Group A | Group B | Group C | Group D | Group E | Group F | Group G | Group H


(Statistics, data and odds correct of date and time published).

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