Russia 2018 Group G Tips and Predictions: Belgium and England to progress, but in which order?
With players like Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku, it is no surprise Belgium are one of the favourites for the glory at the World Cup in Russia this summer. But they might not have things all their own way in Group G, at least if Gareth Southgate’s England perform.
Here we bring you the lowdown on England’s group, that also contains Panama and Tunisia. We’ve got our predictions for how the group with finish and whether or not the Three Lions will roar or go out with a whimper.
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Group G World Cup Betting Tip
Odds correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.
Group G Preview, Analysis and Odds
Roberto Martinez’s Belgium are the odds-on favourites to win Group G in Russia, priced at best odds of 5/6 with Bet365 and William Hill. England are a little further back at 5/4 with Ladbrokes at the time of writing. While Tunisia are available at 20/1 with Betfair and Panama, who have never been to a World Cup before, are out at 40s with Bet365.
The odds, in our eyes, are just about spot on. Neither Tunisia or Panama have a cat in hell’s chance of finishing at the top of the tree. Okay, one or other might play out of their skin to earn a point against either Belgium or – more likely – England, but the only win either could muster will be against the other.
When those sides meet, we think it will be the North Africans who prevail. They have a more experienced squad and are more used to tournament football as a nation, both from their four previous World Cups and their regular performances in the Africa Cup of Nations. Panama are no doubt extremely happy to have made it to Russia, and while they will certainly try their utmost to perform, we think they will be out of their depth. We therefore anticipate they will finish pointless at the foot of the Group G table.
As far as the battle between Belgium and England to finish at the top of the group, we have to side with Belgium here. They simply have more strength in depth in key positions in the squad. If Eden Hazard is on song, he could lead England defenders for a merry dance. We also think the Chelsea man offers excellent value to be his nation’s top scorer in the tournament at 5/1 with BetVictor.
That is not to say England won’t give the Belgians a tough time when they meet for what will probably be the top-spot showdown on 28th June. But we just feel that Southgate’s men will lack what they usually lack at tournaments: the ability to turn effort into results.
We would not put it past England to fluff their lines in their opening match against Tunisia, and if they do that, they’ll be playing catch up from the off. We do think they’ll cruise through to the knockout stages in second spot though, and with a relatively favourable draw for the round of 16 (probably Poland or Colombia), they could well make the quarters. But that’s when they could meet Germany so it will probably be curtains then!
Other bets that could be worth considering include the following:
- Panama to finish bottom at 8/15 with 888sport – Okay, not massive odds, but this is a pretty safe bet for Panama, who did well to get to Russia but who will no doubt struggle once the tournament starts.
- Eden Hazard to be Belgium’s top scorer at 5/1 with BetVictor – While Lukaku might bag a couple, we think if Hazard performs, he could net more.
Key Fixtures in Group G
- Tunisia v England – If England get off to a flyer in their opener, they could build up a head of steam and get themselves a win against Belgium and claim top spot in the group. But that’s quite a bit ‘if’.
- England v Panama – Irrespective of what happens in the opener, we feel England need to win this one to go into the Belgium game with a bit of confidence. Failure to perform here could spell disaster for Southgate and his men.
- Panama v Tunisia – Here’s the battle to avoid the wooden spoon, a battle we think Tunisia will win.
- England v Belgium – The showdown to claim top spot in Group G could indeed go either way, but we’re backing Belgium to take the three points and the plaudits.