What are the best bets for England’s clash with Panama?

The FIFA World Cup is now well underway with all of the 32 teams in the tournament now having played at least once in the tournament. For some it has been a strong start, with the host nation Russia enjoying two excellent victories thus far. For other teams it has been something of a struggle, most notably for the current holders Germany who were well defeated in their opening group game by Mexico in what was the biggest upset of the finals so far.

If you’ve been looking to enjoy a wager on the tournament then it is well worth looking at the myriad of markets on offer at bet365 Sport who are not only offering a massive choice of pre-match markets on each game, but also extensive In-Play betting on each match too.

So, with the second round of group games getting underway yesterday evening with Russia’s 3-1 victory over Egypt, all the teams will now be preparing hard for their second game of the finals and for England fans that means a trip to Nizhny Novgorod to take on Panama, after what was a dramatic opening fixture for the Three Lions against Tunisia in Volgograd.

England Leave It Late to Claim Tunisia Win

England’s opening game with Tunisia was played in a swarm of midges that plague the area when the weather is warm and although the stadium was treated prior to kick off, the small insects were clearly evident during the game, although it did not seem to affect the players too much.

Gareth Southgate’s team began the game well creating a great opportunity after just a couple of minutes which saw Marcus Rashford’s shot saved, when the Manchester United star should really have scored. However England made amends on 11 minutes when John Stones powerful header from a corner was only parried out by the keeper and Harry Kane tucked home his first ever World Cup goal.

England played some fabulous football in the opening quarter of the game and missed several gilt-edged chances to increase their lead, a fact that would come to haunt them on 35 minutes when Kyle Walker was adjudged very harshly to have fouled Ben Youssef in the box. Sassi took the penalty and converted it low to Jordan Pickford’s right to bring Tunisia level in a game they did not deserve to be.

In the second period, England’s pace dropped and as Tunisia changed formation to mirror England, they struggled to get their game going as they had in the first with Dele Alli looking like he was carrying a knock. Despite this, England missed a couple of chances and were unlucky not to have at least two VAR penalties awarded after Harry Kane was twice wrestled to the ground by defenders at corners.

With time running out, England brought on Marcus Rashford and then Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and they made an immediate impact injecting some pace into the England side. The change would pay dividends late on in injury time when from a corner, Harry Maguire rose and saw his header part-blocked only for the ball to run on to Harry Kane who headed home from three yards out to give England the win their performance merited.

After six days, rest England will be back in action further north in Nizhny Novgorod, with Panama awaiting them. The Central American side coming into the game on the back of a 3-0 defeat at the hands of a talented Belgium side.

England v Panama – Preview and Tips

Gareth Southgate will be generally pleased with how his team performed against Tunisia and the fact that they kept going despite some extremely poor officiating and the fact that they squandered several good chances to score more goals in that game, which would have made their night much more comfortable.

With six days in between the two games, I don’t think Southgate will be too concerned with his players not being fit for the game and as such, I’d expect him to name near enough the same team for the Panama match, although if Dele Alli is injured, and there are some doubts about this, then someone, perhaps Rashford or Loftus-Cheek may come in for him.

Panama could opt to change things for the England game but in truth their squad does not have the depth of the other nations in the group and doing so would likely only weaken the team. However if the manager does not change personnel, he may opt to change formation to try and negate how England played against Tunisia, especially in that impressive first half hour or so.

England v Panama Top Tips

Match Winner – England 1/5 with bet365

Having witnessed both teams perform in their opening games, there’s no doubt that England should be winning this game. Panama are not as strong a side as Tunisia and while they are well organised, they were eventually broken down by Belgium. If England get an early goal, then they could score a few more, but they’ll need to sharpen up in front of goal as those missed chances do make defensive players nervy. That said, I’m expecting England to win this one comfortably.

Correct Score – England 3-0 Panama – 6/1 with bet365

Despite a goalless first half, Belgium managed to run in three goals in the second period against Panama and I think England will likely get a similar result here. I think they can match the Belgian’s score, especially if they get an early goal as they did against Tunisia. However, even if they don’t, I think once Panama fall behind and try to come forward, England can pick them off on the counter with the pace in the team. I think 3-0 is a likely scoreline here.

First Goalscorer – Harry Kane – 15/8 with bet365

After a brace of goals in the opening game, Harry Kane will be buoyed with confidence heading into the game with Panama and will be feeling that he can add to his tally of goals here against the Central Americans. Of England’s likely starters, he is by far the most likely to grab a goal, although I do think if you fancy an outside bet, then backing one of the centre backs to score first from a set piece may be a decent other option.

Scorecast – Harry Kane to score first and England to win 3-0 – 22/1 with bet365

You can of course combine the first goalscorer prediction with the 3-0 correct score prediction for a scorecast bet and that would pay out at odds of 22/1 at present with bet365 Sport.

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