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England vs Panama Preview and Predictions

The second round of matches in 2018 World Cup Group G conclude on Sunday afternoon when England meet Panama.

England have struggled in recent major tournaments and will be aiming to make amends for a disappointing 2014 World Cup and 2016 European Championship.  Panama are playing in the first World Cup in their history and their main aim will be to at least register a point in the tournament.

England come into this match knowing a win should see them through to the Round of 16. If Belgium defeat Tunisia, which is likely, England can secure a place in the next round with maximum points.  Panama need to win to have a realistic chance of making the knockout stages.

Things did not look good for England as the match against Tunisia entered the final 10 minutes.  Having taken the lead through Harry Kane, England were expected to go on and win the match comfortably.

However, a silly challenge in the box resulted in a penalty being awarded to Tunisia which was converted.  England put on the pressure towards the end of the game and managed to find a winner from a corner, with Harry Kane the man who scored again in the final minutes.

It was not a great performance by England but in the first 30 minutes they created enough good opportunities to score more than one goal.  If they had taken their chances, England could have been further ahead before Tunisia scored their goal.

 Gareth Southgate will be hoping his team can be more clinical in-front of goal in this game and put the result out of doubt before the final 10 minutes.

Panama were always going to struggle in this group and lost their opening game against the group favourites Belgium. Despite losing the match 3-0, Panama can take some heart from their performance and they defended very well in the first half, keeping out the Belgian attack to go in level 0-0 at half-time.

However, a moment of magic from Dries Mertens in the second half opened the scoring and Belgium added two more good goals to put the result beyond doubt.

Nonetheless, Panama can take some confidence from the way they performed in the game and managed to create a couple of decent chances to score themselves.  They will need to defend very well to deny England goal scoring opportunities.

England have only one injury concern and Dele Alli could miss out with a thigh strain, handing an opportunity to Ruben Loftus-Cheek in midfield.  The only other change could see Raheem Sterling replaced with Marcus Rashford in attack.

Panama are expected to start with the same team which played against Belgium and that means Roman Torres is fit to take his place at the heart of the defence.

Expect Panama to play a very compact style of football with the aim of keeping a clean sheet.  They will make life tough for England but there is enough attacking quality in the England team to make the breakthrough and win this game.

England vs Panama  Predictions:

Englad to win

Over 1,5 goals