Friday’s 2018 World Cup Draw saw England drawn in Group G against Belgium, Tunisia and Panama, so we thought we’d check out the standard of opposition to see if England should qualify for the knockout stages.
GROUP G BETTING: Belgium 10/11, England 5/4, Tunisia 20/1, Panama 40/1
Belgium are ranked number 5 in the FIFA World Rankings but, though they are currently only 12/1 to win the 2018 World Cup, they have disappointed on the big stages at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and when beaten by Wales at Euro 2016.
However, since that defeat by Wales, they have continued to progress under the guidance of new manager Roberto Martinez, and the Spaniard has lead them to 11 wins and 3 draws in an unbeaten run of 14 games in 2017.
They may not have the strength in depth of some of the other highly-ranked countries like Germany, France and Brazil, but they do have a first-team who are capable of beating anyone on their day. It’s a team capable of scoring plenty of goals thanks to the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard, whilst goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is equally capable of keeping them out at the other end.
Panama are at number 56 in the FIFA World Rankings, and are currently amongst the outsiders of the 32 teams in the finals in Russia, with bookies quoting them as high as 1,500/1 to lift the trophy. It’s the first time they’ve qualified for the finals but, whilst that’s a major feat for a country that has just 1/80 of the population of the USA, it will be a surprise if they qualify for the knockout stages. However, Coach Hernan Gomez has got both Colombia and Ecuador to the finals before, and they do have prolific striker Luis Tejada.
Their 20 games in 2017 produced 8 wins, 6 draws and 6 defeats, with those 6 defeats coming against Mexico, USA, Costa Rica, Iran, Honduras and Trinidad and Tobago, teams respectively ranked 16, 24, 26, 32, 70 and 89 in the world.
Tunisia are ranked 27th in the FIFA World Rankings and, though this will be their fifth appearance at the World Cup Finals, they have yet to make it beyond the Group Stages. Unbeaten in qualifying, they still managed to lose 5 matches in other competitions during 2017, against the likes of Morocco, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Egypt.
Group G Betting Options
England are ranked number 15 in the world at the moment, which suggests they should at least qualify from the group, but unfortunately no bookmakers are currently offering odds about England simply qualifying for the knockout stages. However, Betvictor are offering odds about what stage England will be eliminated at.
Betting On What Stage Will England Be Eliminated At
11/8 Last-16, 11/4 Quarter-Finals, 9/2 Semi-Finals, 6/1 Group Stage, 12/1 Runner-Up, 16/1 Winner
Therefore, unless you think England won’t qualify from the Group, and want to take the 6/1 about them exiting at this stage, it’s a case of whether you think they are good enough to win the group? However, preference is for Belgium to top the group, and the 10/11 could be on the generous side.
Group G Tip: Belgium To Win The Group @ 10/11 William Hill