Group G seems to be a fairly straight forward group where England and Belgium should be able to take advantage of what could be an easy enough draw with Tunisia and world cup debutantes Panama.
England are the side that everyone always expects and wants to do well and consistently let their fans and themselves down. Fortunately Gareth Southgate has drafted a very youthful side that will bring in the desire and fire which England have been missing over the last few years and tournaments.
Marcus Rashford was a shining light in a dreadful Euro 2016, when he was brought onto the pitch he made it seem as if things were going to happen, his presence brought the team up positively and he is undoubtedly going to be a star in this England squad for years to come. Alongside him would be his striking duo Harry Kane, he has bagged 20+ goals for 4 seasons straight and has quickly shrugged off the one season wonder tag becoming one of the worlds greatest in the process, he hasnt quite had the chance to properly prove himself on the international stage but this is definitely his time to shine.
Young prospects like Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be looking to get some international minutes under their belts after impressing at club level over the season, Alexander-Arnold is especially promising seeing as he provides what England has been lacking since David Beckham, a dead ball specialist. His delivery will allow the likes of Kane to bag an extra goal frequently.
There is plenty of England players that have a massive opportunity to shine in this tournament, it’s just a matter of which England decides to turn up, lets just hope for our good that it’s the defensively strong one.
Predicted group finish: 2nd
Unluckily for England they’re in a group with a team that an incredible squad but hasn’t quite shown what they can do together yet.
Belgium have got no boundaries on what this side could achieve. The midfield of Kevin De Bruyne and Radja Nainggolan has a quality balance with KDB providing and distrubuting with both feet and Nainggolan doing the dirty work and clearing up around him to feed KDB the ball back. This is without even mentioning Eden Hazard, he’ll be all over the pitch as usual, drawing fouls and creating dangerous opportunities for the other two pieces to the attacking trio Romelu Lukaku and Dries Mertens. With the quality of defences in this group, you can expect to see Lukaku bag a few goals nice and early to give him a confidence boost. The defensive strength of Thibault Courtois and Toby Alderwiereld is massively underrated in this attacking powerhouse of a side, they allow these attacking players to flourish by mopping up all chances at the back and redistributing to the playmakers of Hazard and KDB.
Predicted group finish: 1st
Tips in the betting markets: Romelu Lukaku to be the outright top goalscorer is currently 16/1 with bet365.
Belgium/England group forecast is currently 11/8 with bet365.
Panama were always going to struggle at this world cup but their time is going to made any easier by the two big European sides in the group with them. They were a shock package and amazingly managed to get their way through the qualifiying finals to be at the World Cup. In their qualifcation they didn’t even manage to score an average of 1 goal a game but did only concede 1 goal a game. This Panama side has very little standout players but this tournament will be a brilliant experience for the country and they’ll bring excellent support.
Predicted group finish: 4th
Last members of group G are African side Tunisia, their hopes aren’t anywhere near as slim as Panamas. They have played some excellent games in friendlies leading into the world cup with draws against Portugal and only losing to a late goal vs a very strong Spain side. The main threat for the likes of England to be watching out for will be Whabi Khazri, the former Sunderland midfielder has playmaking ability and it’s a matter of whether the players around him have the composure to make the most of it at such a huge tournament. Tunisia’s defence is definitely shaky and the only notable name is Yohan Benalouane [Leicester], he hasn’t played many minutes in the premier league but is a staple part of this Tunisian defence. This group on paper should be wrapped up already but we all know how England perform at big tournaments. If they were to slip up, Tunisia will be ready to take the 2nd place spot.
Predicted group finish: 3rd
Example group standings:
1st: Belgium :9 Points
2nd: England :6 Points
3rd: Tunisia :3 Points
4th: Panama :0 Points