England vs Panama
Competition: 2018 World Cup finals
Date: 24 June 2018
Kick-off: 14:00 CET
England had an awesome start in their game versus Tunisia the other day, passing the ball around quickly, finding open spaces at the back of the Africans’ defense, creating scoring chances, not to mention scoring the opener in the 11th minute. They should have scored at least one more goal in the first half, a period during which they were very-very good. Instead, an absolutely silly (to… write the least) penalty conceded by Kyle Walker, sent them to the dressing room level on the score. In the second half, it was obvious things had changed. No more self-confidence, no more “fluid” passing, stress, bad choices, lack of imagination and common sense alike. Luckily for them, they have Harry Kane. The England captain scored in added time to give his team all three points, saving himself and his teammates from a lot of unneeded criticism by the Press and the fans back home. They still got criticized, but… within rational limits. Dele Alli has shaken off an injury problem, but it’s taken almost for granted that he won’t play against Panama. Raheem Stirling is the other starter against Tunisia that is expected to lose his spot, having done very poorly in England’s opener in the World Cup finals.
Panama were sort of unlucky to find opposite them the most convincing World Cup winner candidate in their first game. Belgium, unlike other “favorites”, not only found a way to win the game, but they did so convincingly in the second half, opening the scoring, and then keeping pushing for more goals. The final 3-0 wasn’t the worst that could have happened to Panama, looking back at how the 90 minutes went. Their coach himself, Hernán Darío Gómez, looked rather… relieved after the game, saying he was satisfied with his players who had proven wrong all those who expected Panama to lose by six or seven goals. The Central Americans received five yellow cards, being rather excessively… physical at times. Judging by what they have been saying these last days, they consider England less strong than Belgium, therefore a… potential victim of a surprise.
Previous five matches:
Tunisia vs England 1-2
England vs Costa Rica 2-0
England vs Nigeria 2-1
England vs Italy 1-1
Netherlands vs England 0-1
Belgium vs Panama 3-0
Norway vs Panama 1-0
Panama vs Northern Ireland 0-0
Trinidad & Tobago vs Panama 0-1
Switzerland vs Panama 6-0
England’s last group match is against Belgium, on Wednesday. Same day, Panama will be facing Tunisia.
England vs Panama: Head to head Stats
This is the first game ever between these two.
England vs Panama: Prediction
Despite struggling in their opener, I expect England to win the game, and Kane to score again.
England vs Panama: Betting Tips
A simple England win pays just 1.22, which I wouldn’t bet on, feeling that it’s not worth the always existent risk. “Harry Kane to score first and England to win” is at 3.00. Actually, having seen how… physical, bordering “aggressive” the Panamanians were against Belgium, I would be anything but surprised if England won a penalty, and given that Kane is the one who takes them, I like “Harry Kane to score twice”, at 3.40. “Over 2.5 goals” pays 1.95 (exactly the same as “England and over 2.5”, so I’m skipping the unnecessary “England win” part), which I like because I expect the English to score early, leaving the Panamanians no choice but to… go for it.