Two of the four teams in this group, being Belgium and England, both have an outside shot at winning the World Cup. Belgium is loaded with young talent and have the potential to break the old boys club and win the Cup. England is a football nation that never lives up to expectations but should still be involved at the pointy end of the tournament. The other two teams in the group will not endanger the big two. Tunisia are finally back in the World Cup after a twelve-year absence and will want to show that they have improved. Panama who are making their very first World Cup appearance, are out to prove they belong. Belgium and England will finish in the top two spots and move onto the round of 16. Tunisia will finish third and Panama will finish bottom of the group.
Group G World Cup Odds Comparison
*All odds are subject to change right up until kick-off.
Team Belgium Preview
Belgium won their qualifying group with ease. They did not lose a game, scored the most goals in UEFA qualifiers (tied with Germany) and were not challenged any step of the way. In their last three friendlies, Belgium won two and drew one game while experimenting with the line-up and formations. It seems that Roberto Martinez who was appointed the manager two years ago is struggling to set up a defensive system that works with these players. Luckily for Martinez, Belgium controls the ball and scores many goals and rarely rely on a defensive game. This team has multiple star players in most positions, but Martinez will still need to find a formation that works. Playing in this group will give Belgium the chance to sort these issues out before the knockout stage. The English game will be the only tricky one Belgium will face in the group stage. Belgium will move onto the round of 16.
Last World Cup Appearance - 2014 Brazil, Lost in Quarter-Finals
Best World Cup Finish - Semi-Finals (1986 Mexico)
Best Overall Player - Eden Hazard and de Bruyne. Both these players are incredible. Kevin de Bruyne will control the game and make brilliant passes. Hazard will exploit teams with his speed and dribbling ability. It's too hard to pick between the both of them.
Top Goal Scorer Prediction: Romelu Lukaku is usually the main striker. A wealth of talent surrounds him and will be able to feed him the ball every game for many goals.
Lukaku is 18 to 1 to win the Golden Boot at BetOnline.
BEST ODDS FOR BELGIUM TO WIN GROUP G
Team England Preview
England had yet another great qualifying campaign, finishing on top of the UEFA Group F. The Three Lions did not lose a game during these recent qualifiers. England had a new manager for this campaign in Gareth Southgate, who moved up to the senior team after managing the English under 21’s team. Southgate is trying new formations and including more of the younger players in the line-up. In their last four friendlies, England have drawn three and only won one game, while scoring only two goals in these four games.
England seems to be solid at the back and in the midfield but have been struggling to score goals. The burden of scoring goals falls squarely onto Harry Kane. If the Three Lions want to go deep into this World Cup, Kane will need to score more goals and get support in doing so. England will finish in the top two spots and move onto the round of 16.
Last World Cup Appearance - 2014 Brazil, Eliminated in Group Stage
Best World Cup Finish - Champions (1966 in England)
Best Overall Player - Harry Kane. This is one of the better English teams of late, but they will rely on Kane heavily to score goals.
Top Goal Scorer Prediction: Harry Kane. There is no doubt who will the main striker for England. Kane was in great from this season for Spurs and only finished second to Salah in EPL scoring.
Kane is 14 to 1 to Win Top Goalscorer at BetOnline
BEST ODDS FOR ENGLAND TO WIN GROUP G
Team Tunisia Preview
Tunisia had a shaky qualifying campaign. They fought hard in every game and had some luck on their side. In the end, they qualified for the World Cup in a fairly easy CAF Group A. Tunisia won their last two friendly games both by the same 1-0 score against two World Cup bound teams. Tunisia is trying to repurpose their style to be more offensive by encouraging their full-backs to press forward as much as possible. However, the manager switches Tunisia to a 4-3-2-1 formation when playing attacking teams which should be against all three opponents in this group. If they revert to this formation, it will leave Msakni alone up front and isolated. If Tunisia’s best player does not get the ball, it will be a short campaign in Russia. Tunisia will beat Panama to take third in this group.
Last World Cup Appearance - 2006 Germany, Eliminated in Group Stage
Best World Cup Finish - Group Stage (1978, 1998, 2002, 2006)
Best Overall Player - Youssef Msakni who currently plays in Qatar will be the key figure. He is the best player for this nation and carries the team on most occasions.
Top Goal Scorer Prediction: Youssef Msakni, is a versatile forward. Tunisia will not score many goals in this World Cup but if they do, Msakni will score them.
BEST ODDS FOR TUNISIA TO WIN GROUP G
Team Panama Preview
Panama took the third spot in CONCACAF to qualify automatically for the World Cup. They played a reasonable campaign, but fortune was on their side thanks to poor play from usual qualifiers - the USA. In their last three friendlies, Panama lost two, one very badly 6-0 to Switzerland. Their only win in these friendlies came against Trinidad and Tobago, the worst team in the CONCACAF final group qualifiers. The Panama football style is built on solid defence (led by Roman Torres), discipline and working on a quick counter attack. Gabriel Gomez will mastermind this quick transition and get the ball to the front men. Panama will struggle at this World Cup and finish bottom of Group G.
Last World Cup Appearance - 1st World Cup Appearance
Best World Cup Finish - 1st World Cup Appearance
Best Overall Player - Roman Torres, who plays for Seattle, is a solid defender who scores big goals.
Top Goal Scorer Prediction: Luis Tejada might be 36 years old but he has 43 goals for his nation and should lead them in their 1st World Cup showing.
BEST ODDS FOR PANAMA TO WIN GROUP G
Best Bet To Win Group G
I think Belgium will win this group on raw talent alone. England certainly will push them and make this group very interesting. This is not an easy pick and there is a case for both teams, but Belgium will win in the end.
Sleeper Pick To Win Group G
I am not sure if you can call England a sleeper but they are the only other team that could win this group and they are slight underdogs. So at around +120 at most sportsbooks they are a solid choice.
Group G Predictions
There are two teams battling to win the group and there are two teams fighting to stay out of the basement. The Belgium v England game and the Panama v Tunisia games will both be close tough games that will most likely decide the final positions. Belgium and England will both move onto the next round with Belgium just taking the group. Tunisia will beat Panama to lock Panama to the bottom of the group.
Final Standings Prediction
- 1Belgium - 7 points (Goal Differentiation)
- 2England - 7 Points
- 3Tunisia- 3 Points
- 4Panama - 0 Points
Game By Game Predictions for Group G