Belgium vs Panama Predictions, Odds and Betting Tips
Much ended in the result 3-0
Belgium crashed out of the 2014 World Cup in the quarter-finals and they’ll be hoping to reach the last eight once again in Russia. Roberto Martinez is in charge and is seen as a relatively flexible coach who should be able to utilise his hugely talented squad. They sailed through qualification, netting 43 goals and securing their place in this tournament with relative ease. The former Everton coach has had some big decisions to make and he opted to leave out Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan, despite impressing in Serie A this season. Eden Hazard hasn’t enjoyed a prolific campaign for Chelsea but did net the winner during the FA Cup final on May 19th. Kevin de Bruyne is one of the star attractions of this Belgium squad but he has previously been openly critical of Martinez’s tactics and whether he can impress on this stage remains to be seen.
Panama secured qualification for their first ever World Cup with a 2-1 victory over Costa Rica in the CONCACAF group and it prompted mass celebrations countrywide. Hernan Gomez’s side have endured ten unsuccessful qualification campaigns and many of their players will relish the chance to put themselves in the shop window here. The coach has included goalscorer Roman Torres in his 35-man squad, with the Seattle Sounders defender joined by a number of MLS regulars including Michael Murillo and Christian Martinez.
Belgium will be hoping that a number of players can shake off niggling injuries ahead of this opener. Roberto Martinez will view this clash against Panama as their easiest fixture and may opt to rest the likes of Michy Bathuayi and Romelu Lukaku for this one. Vincent Kompany will also be assessed ahead of this game with the Manchester City defender enduring yet another injury-hit campaign in the Premier League. Plenty is expected of this talented side and they stuck four past Saudi Arabia during an International Friendly at the end of March. They will be wary of England in Group G but will be expected to progress to the knock-out round without any hiccups.
Very little is expected of Panama at this tournament, which allows the Central American side to play without any pressure. This is always beneficial. They will not want to lose heavily in this opener and keeping it tight during the early stages is absolutely essential. They lack any top quality players, although a number of their squad are regulars in the MLS and in the South American leagues. The tragic death of midfielder Amilcar Henriquez has hit the squad hard and the coaching team have a number of key decisions to make ahead of their first Group G fixture.
Belgium vs Panama Predictions
Pinnacle‘s 1.17 on Belgium to win this opener is the best price available on the Red Devils and they will be hoping to start with a relatively straightforward success. Panama will battle hard but Belgium’s quality is likely to shine through. The individual power of each player should help them stroll to three points in this opener.
Belgium can also be backed at 1.66 to be winning at half-time and that is a great way of finding a little more value in this game. It’s 1.50 with William Hill for Belgium to be winning at both half-time and full-time.
Sports Interaction are also offering 1.83 for Belgium to find the net in both halves.
Many punters will be keen to explore the Asian Handicap markets here and Belgium are -2 at 1.89 with Sports Interaction. -2.50 is also recommended at 2.45.
Panama will be hoping to mark their first-ever appearance at the World Cup with a goal in their opening encounter. Although Belgium’s defence isn’t renowned for being watertight, they may have enough to keep their opponents at bay. Belgium to Win to Nil is available at 1.42 with Inter Tops
Belgium are expected to dominate and, although they scored plenty of goals during qualifying, they aren’t anticipated to score five or six here. 2-0 and 3-1 are likely scorelines in this encounter and they can be backed at 4.43 and 14.43 with Bodog
- Despite playing in four of the first five World Cups, Belgium didn’t secure their first win at the tournament until 1970.
- Former manager Marc Wilmots remains their all-time leading World Cup goalscorer with five goals across two tournaments.
- Kevin De Bruyne to Win the Golden Boot (21.00 with Sports Interaction)
- Belgium failed to qualify for the 2006 or 2010 tournaments
- In 1986, they finished fourth; this remains their best-ever performance in a World Cup.
- Panama failed to qualify for the previous ten World Cups before securing their place in Russia.
- They qualified for the 2018 tournament after finishing third in the CONCACAF Hexagonal Group.
Belgium: Eden Hazard (captain), Thibaut Courtois, Toby Alderweireld, Thomas Vermaelen, Vincent Kompany, Jan Vertonghen, Axel Witsel, Kevin De Bruyne, Marouane Fellaini, Romelu Lukaku, Yannick Carrasco, Simon Mignolet, Koen Casteels, Dries Mertens, Thomas Meunier, Thorgan Hazard, Youri Tielemans, Adnan Januzaj, Mousa Dembélé, Dedryck Boyata, Michy Batshuayi, Nacer Chadli, Leander Dendoncker.
Panama: Jaime Penedo, Michael Amir Murillo, Harold Cummings, Fidel Escobar, Román Torres, Gabriel Gómez, Blas Pérez, Édgar Bárcenas, Gabriel Torres, Ismael Díaz, Armando Cooper, José Calderón, Adolfo Machado, Valentín Pimentel, Erick Davis, Abdiel Arroyo, Luis Ovalle, Luis Tejada, Alberto Quintero, Aníbal Godoy, José Luis Rodríguez, Álex Rodríguez, Felipe Baloy (captain).
|Belgium 1.16 | Draw 6.81 | Panama 21.00|