England v Panama: Young Lions Can Gain Further Confidence Boost Against Lowly Rivals

Following Harry Kane’s late, late show against Tunisia on Monday evening, England will look to secure qualification for the knockout phase of the 2018 World Cup with victory over Panama in Nizhny Novgorod on Sunday afternoon, kick-off: 13:00 BST.

Gareth Southgate’s side showed glimpses of real potential in Volgograd and will look to continue in the same vein against a Panama outfit, who really should be cast aside. Following a goalless first half against Belgium, the CONCACAF team capitulated by conceding three second half goals, and a similar performance from England should be within their compass.

Panama are nicknamed Los Canaleros which is translated as ‘The Canal Men’. With England waiting on Sunday, Panama really look to be ‘up the creek without a paddle’ so to speak.

Build Up

Before Kyle Walker was adjudged to have performed dangerous play towards Fakhreddine Ben Youssef on the half-hour mark, England were in complete control against Tunisia. The Young Lions attacked their opponents with gusto and showed admirable desire to win the ball back as soon as possession was lost.

England naturally couldn’t maintain their energy levels on a balmy Volgograd evening in the second half but were rewarded for their pressure with a late headed goal from captain, Harry Kane. The manner of the celebration following the winner from Southgate suggested huge relief emanating from the England bench, and from manager Gareth Southgate who can now prepare for Sunday’s game with an opening 2-1 win under his belt.

Panama really look to be up against it in terms of qualification for the knockout phase. A point against England would give them a faint hope, provided Belgium win their final two games over Tunisia and England, while Panama must beat Tunisia in their last match. This is all very hypothetical however, as I cannot foresee anything other than a comfortable win for Southgate’s side on Sunday.

Match Odds

Belgium began the game with Panama as 1/5 shots to open their campaign with a win, and England are similarly short to all but end the hopes of the Central American side. At the time of writing, 188BET are the best industry price of 3/13 for an England win on Sunday afternoon.

The Draw can be taken with MarathonBet at 61/10, while an unlikely win for Hernán Darío Gómez’s side is available with 10bet at 83/4.

For most punters, the prohibitive odds of 3/13 are far too short to bet on, so we will look towards other markets for some better value selections.

Individual Goal Scorers

Harry Kane

My enthusiasm for this particular market is tempered by the fact that some players could be rested or dropped because of the dynamics of the tournament. My advice is to wait until the teams are announced before placing any wagers on this market.

Following his double against Tunisia, Harry Kane will be very popular with punters to open the scoring against Panama on Sunday. The Tottenham striker can be backed with Ladbrokes and SportingBet at 2/1 to be First Goal scorer.

The odds are short on Kane in comparison to most opening scorer markets, but Panama are unlikely to pose much threat to the England rear-guard, which is factored into the price.

Other potential options come from Raheem Sterling at 5/1 Betfred and Totesport provided Southgate keeps his faith from the start in the Manchester City forward. Marcus Rashford came on for Sterling in the second half on Monday evening and showed glimpses of his talents. Should Southgate decide to plump for the Manchester United striker instead of Sterling, Unibet is the place to get on at 18/5.

Ladbrokes and William Hill go 33/1 on John Stones to break the deadlock, who is more than capable of scoring from set-pieces as a long odds option.

The first Panama interest in this market comes from veteran forward Luis Tejada who can be backed at 10/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral.

Kane is the obvious starting point in this market and he looks to be the one to be on at short odds. His clinical finishing against Tunisia proved to be England’s saviour and he can get his team on the front foot again.

Other Side Bets

A likely popular bet for Sunday’s game will be for England to Win to Nil considering their inferior opposition. 188BET offers 8/13 on this particular bet and provided that the England defence performs with composure, it looks to be a solid selection.

Belgium couldn’t breach the Panama resistance in the opening half of their contest on Monday afternoon, however England should have enough in their locker to get a lead before the interval. Coral and Ladbrokes offer 3/4 on England to be leading at Half Time and also Full Time, in what looks to be another sensible bet in comparison to the Match Odds market.

Our Correct Score offering is for a 3-0 win for England to replicate the efforts of Belgium with both 10Bet and SportPesa offering odds of 59/10 on this outcome. England should have far too much for Panama on Sunday, and the Three Lions can then look forward to a Group G decider with Belgium next Thursday.

Best Bets:

  • England to Win To Nil at 8/13 with 188BET
  • Harry Kane First Goalscorer at 2/1 with Ladbrokes
  • England 3-0 Panama Correct Score bet at 59/10 with SportPesa