Group Stage G: BEL vs. PAN
Belgium vs. Panama June 18, 2018- 11:00 AM ET (FOXS1) Fisht Olympic Stadium, Russia
Monday’s World Cup action will take us out to Fisht Olympic Stadium where Belgium and Panama will begin play in Group G; a matchup that has the Belgians heavily favored to win according to our top sportsbooks;
In a group that many have them picked to win, the Belgians will seek to get off to a fast start versus what may be the “darlings” of the tournament in Panama as they feel their biggest challenge will come from England, who will be in action later that day against Tunisia.
But, first some concerns surrounding the Belgians as veteran leader Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen are dealing with injuries. Their status remains unclear, but Spanish head coach Roberto Martinez, despite some of his coaching decisions has his team and a nation believing they can make a run… and why not as Belgium is undefeated in World Cup qualifying since Euro 2016 after Martinez was given the reigns?
Belgium is loaded with talent in playmakers Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard, who believes his team has matured since being ousted 1-0 by Argentina four years ago in the quarter-finals.
For Panama and Colombian head coach Hernan Dario Gomez, they narrowly punched their ticket to the World Cup but have looked anything like contenders after being shelled 6-0 by Switzerland in pre-tournament warm-ups last week.
Not given much chance outside of Panama to do anything in the World Cup, the Panamanians will be playing for country pride and want to just stay competitive and avoid embarrassment in what is the world’s biggest stage.
Loaded with talent and favored big in this match, Belgium is eyeing nothing less than the finals as they feel this is their best team since the 1986 squad that made the semifinals. Panama for their part just want to be able to hold their heads high in this tournament and avoid “to not be the laughing stock of the World Cup.”
For sports betting purposes, MyBookie has this BEL vs. PAN matchup Belgium (+641 ML) and Panama (+1918) with an over/under of 2.5 total game goals scored; a number I will lay my money on as I feel the Belgians will have their way in the scoring department taking the OVER of 2.5 total game goals scored.