Home Sports Football 2018 World Cup Flexible England to sneak opening win
Flexible England to sneak opening win

Flexible England to sneak opening win


Four years on from a group stage exit in Brazil and 24 months after their infamous defeat to Iceland, England start their 2018 World Cup campaign with renewed confidence.

Boss Gareth Southgate has brought a sense of serenity to the squad and after saying all the right things in the build-up they now need to show they mean business by beating Tunisia on Monday.

With Belgium and Panama the other teams in Group G, a place in the knockout rounds is a realistic goal for the Three Lions and they can set the tone with a victory in Volgograd.

England to win to zero @ 20/21

England have often struggled in their opening games at major tournaments, winning only one of their last four World Cup curtain raisers.

Again they face opposition who on paper appear inferior but that rarely counts for anything.

Tunisia will look to defend deep and try and spring a surprise on the break. They recently drew with Portugal and were unbeaten in qualifying.

The Eagles of Carthage will see their final game against Panama as the chance to win a first World Cup game in 40 years but that does not mean they will roll over.

To counter this, Southgate is expected to pick an attacking line-up and his flexible approach means they should sneak a result without conceding themselves.

Jesse Lingard to score at Anytime @ 37/20

Ironically, the two teams previously met in their opening Group G game at France ’98 and on that occasion it was Paul Scholes who scored both of England’s goals in a 2-0 win.

Another tricky Manchester United midfielder is likely to start on Monday and despite Jesse Lingard not being of Scholes’ class, he does share his knack for crucial goals.

Lingard netted the winner in the 2016 FA Cup final, while he also bagged against both Arsenal and Chelsea this term, as well as against the Netherlands in March.

The 25-year-old offers plenty of value, while he is 8/1 to Score From Outside the Box in his ‘Players Props’ section.

England to be eliminated in Quarter-Finals @ 11/5

A win on Monday and a repeat result against Panama will seal their progress before facing Belgium.

The draw has been kind to the Three Lions with the teams in Group H all beatable.

After that it gets a bit tough though but with the pressure largely off and this crop looking more like a team than a bunch of individuals, a first World Cup quarter-final appearance since 2006 could beckon.

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Jack Ogalbe Jack has been a sports betting writer for over a decade and has an excellent strike rate with his suggestions. A semi-professional footballer, runner and cyclist, his sports knowledge is second to none and he knows all the stats and facts you need when considering a punt.