It’s Monday, and England get the chance to enter the World Cup.
Tunisia are the opponents for the Three Lions, and this will be the first time the two sides have met since England won 2-0 in the World Cup in France in 1998.
Tunisia only conceded four goals in qualifying and so England will have to work hard for the three points, especially if the difficulties the favoured nations have had in winning so far are borne in mind.
However, Gareth Southgate has pulled together a young, quick and confident group and we expect them to prevail. And it’s the speed and trickery of some of his players—Sterling, Lingard, Vardy and Rashford spring to mind—that could offer an opening in the way of a penalty, which Harry Kane should dispatch. We’ll take the 6/1 on offer that England score from the spot.
Today’s opening game sees Sweden line up against South Korea.
The Swedes qualified via the playoffs by beating Italy, no mean feat, and now face a side that finished behind Iran in their qualifying group and has had struggles scoring goals.
It’s true the Swedes have not been prolific in front of goal of late, but surely they have been playing at higher level. Sweden to win to nil looks a safe bet.
Today’s third game sees one of the tournaments favourites, Belgium, take on a minnow, Panama.
We know there have been some upsets in this tournament so far, but surely there can be only one winner of this match!
The Belgians qualified undefeated from their group, scoring 43 goals in the process, and look full of talent. Panama, by contrast, scraped in third in their qualifying group, scoring only nine.
Belgium will win this game going away, and we look for Eden Hazard to star, given he needs to put himself into the shop window if he wants to push for a move away from Chelsea.
England/Tunisia: England score a penalty, 1 pt, at 6/1, bet365
Sweden/South Korea: Sweden to win to nil, 1 pt, at 2/1, Paddy Power
Belgium/Panama: Hazard to be named man of the match, 1 pt, at 9/2, bet365
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