England vs Panama preview, betting tips and prediction
England to Win @ 2/9 with Coral
England got their World Cup campaign off to the perfect start with a 2-1 win over Tunisia. A Harry Kane double sandwiched a Ferjani Sassi penalty. And although Kane’s winner came in stoppage time, there are plenty of positives for Gareth Southgate to take from that game. For the most part, they kept Tunisia quiet. Had it not been for Kyle Walker’s sloppy defending, they would have enjoyed a more comfortable victory. That defending and the wastefulness that England’s band of attacking support showed in the final third at times.
But the positive to take from that is that openings were being created with satisfying regularity. Raheem Sterling, Jesse Lingard and Dele Alli caused the opposition problems with their pace and probing. Marcus Rashford was similarly troublesome when he was summoned from the bench. Panama shouldn’t pose any problems to attackers of this quality. Their lack of pace was one of the most obvious insights one could take from their 3-0 defeat to Belgium.
Their 2-1 victory over Tunisia was the first World Cup game since 2006 that England scored at least two goals, ending a sequence of 10 games. Southgate’s tactical experiments worked well against Tunisia. Their attackers have looked confident in recent outings.
Panama kept Belgium quiet for more than 45 minutes and deserve credit for it. However, once Roberto Martinez’s side stepped up a gear they left their opponents behind. Panama picked up five yellow cards in that defeat, the most by any World Cup side since Holland in 2010. Expect them to play rough against England’s speedy attackers.
Dele Alli is said to be nursing a thigh injury so may sit this one out.
Panama have no injury concerns going into the game.