Big Match Breakdown: England v Panama
Dave Burin | 24 June 2018
Preview and tips for vital Group G clash
England left it late to grab a vital victory over Tunisia in their World Cup opener. And Gareth Southgate’s could secure a spot in the last 16 with victory over Panama.
As for Hernan Dario Gomez’s side, they’ll be looking to pull off a historic result. World Cup first-timers, Los Canaleros lost their opener to Belgium 3-0 – though they went in level at half-time.
Ahead of this Sunday showdown, the Coral News Team have all the stats, odds and info in another Big Match Breakdown.
This will be the first ever meeting of these two sides. But it marks the third time England have met a CONCACAF side at the World Cup.
In 2006, the Three Lions pulled off a 2-0 group stage win over Trinidad and Tobago. Eight years later, they bowed out of the tournament after a 0-0 draw with Costa Rica.
England’s 3-1-4-2 system worked well against Tunisia, and boss Gareth Southgate is likely to stick with it.
Marcus Rashford could start from the off against Panama, having impressed as a substitute last time out. In defence, the experienced Gary Cahill could regain his starting berth.
Los Canaleros will probably to make a couple of changes from the side that faced Belgium. Up front, the ageing Blas Perez could make way for the more mobile Gabriel Torres. However, the bulk of the side is likely to remain the same.
Panama are likely to sit deep and soak up the pressure, as they did against Belgium. That puts the impetus on the likes of Jesse Lingard and Ruben Loftus-Cheek to produce those defence-splitting passes and marauding runs.
For the Panamanians, they’ll be looking to make an impact on the wings against an England side with a narrow back three. Creative Gent winger Jose Luis Rodriguez could be key if they are to pull off an upset.
In the match betting, England are 1/4 for victory. Meanwhile, Coral’s odds make it 9/2 for a draw, while it’s 16/1 for a shock Panama win.
On paper, this should be a fairly straightforward assignment for the Three Lions. They’re 4/1 to bag a 2-0 victory, with a slightly-longer 24/5 for a 3-0 England win.
Harry Kane grabbed a brace against Tunisia, and he’s 2/5 to find the net Anytime. Meanwhile, the Tottenham ace is 6/4 to Score Two or More Goals.
If Panama are to score their first-ever World Cup game, it could come from Gabriel Torres. The 29-year-old is 4/1 to get on the scoresheet, and add to his 15 international goals to date.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing