Belgium and England must face-off in Group G of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with the two potential dark horses facing each other in the final round of group games.
Both are narrow outsiders for the tournament as a whole, but their match in Kaliningrad on June 28 could be crucial to either sides hopes of causing an upset and going far in the tournament.
Panama, making their World Cup debut after their surprise qualification, are also in Group G, along with Tunisia – who will be looking to progress beyond the group stages for the first time in five attempts.
Read on for the fixtures, group odds and forecasts in Group G.....
Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi
Volgograd Arena, Volgograd
Otkritie Arena, Moscow
Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod
Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad
Mordovia Arena, Saransk
The winner of the final game between Belgium and England is expected to determine the winner of Group G, with Belgium 5/6 with Bet365 top the group and England 6/5.
Unsurprisingly Tunisia and Panama are big outsiders - the former are 14/1 to win Group G while the latter, in their debut World Cup, are a massive 40/1.
Belgium have only beaten England twice in their history, but the two nations have only met once since the turn of the century. Belgium are a vastly improved team now, and are favourites for a reason.
England, though they have been resolute defensively under Gareth Southgate, appear to lack the attacking edge they need to beat the biggest teams – Belgium included.
There is no value in the group qualification market, with Belgium at 1/10 to reach the last 16 and Gareth Southgate’s England at 1/8.
For comparison, Tunisia are 4/1 and Panama 9/1. Tunisia have not won a game at any of their last three tournaments, and failed to qualify for the last two either. Panama, of course, were surprise qualifiers for their debut World Cup and have upset the odds just by being in Russia – they are not expected to make an impact in Group G.
So, it’s England and Belgium expected to qualify but again the question remains in what order? With Tunisia and Panama expected to do so little, it may be worth swapping the straight group winners vote for a forecast – given you are effectively backing the same outcome.
If you think Belgium will show their quality – as they should – 1st – Belgium, 2nd – England is 11/8 with Bet365. The reverse bet is 7/4 with the same bookmaker.
While Tunisia do not have a great World Cup record, and are 17/10 to finish bottom of the group, Panama are very much the minnows in this year’s tournament. That point was brought home by their 6-0 friendly defeat to Switzerland in their first proper set of fixtures after qualifying. Expect Panama to finish bottom of Group G – they are priced at 1/2 with Bet365 to do just that.
The top two might be difficult to predict, at least in terms of which order they will finish in, but Belgium have a pedigree that England do not. They are clinical up front and solid at the back, and should finish ahead of the English. Bet365 are offering 11/8 on a 1st – Belgium, 2nd – England forecast.
Belgium (5/6 to win Group G with Bet365)
England (11/8 to finish 2nd with Belgium 1st with Bet365)
Tunisia (1/6 to fail to qualify with Bet365)
Panama (1/2 to finish bottom of Group G with Bet365)
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begambleaware | 18+ T&C* aaply
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