Today’s Predictions: Belgium Vs Panama
Belgium 3 – 0 Panama
The 12th match of the FIFA World Cup 2018 will take place between one of the favourites Belgium and debutants Panama.
- Date : 18th June 2018
- Time :8:30 PM (IST)
- Venue : Fisht Olympic Stadium
While Belgium boast of having one of the strongest lineups in the tournament, Panama are ranked 56th in the world and are playing in the World Cup for the first time ever, after coming agonizingly close to qualifying last time.
FIFA World Cup Qualification
Belgium dominated their way to World Cup qualification, scoring a record 43 goals while conceding only 6. Though they were placed in relatively easy group with Bosina – Herzegovina and Greece their only real challengers, The Red Devils delivered a strong statement of intent that their ‘Golden Generation’ is more than ready to live up to that tag. They won 9 matches and drew one to Greece, with Lukaku leading the way with 11 goals and Eden Hazard in stupendous form himself.
Panama had a dramatic qualification phase, with a double over Honduras and a well earned away draw against the USA some of their significant results. However their biggest result was a dramatic win over Costa Rica in their last match which helped them to finish 3rd and finally achieve qualification after 10 failed attempts.
Belgium are unbeaten in their last 4 games, as Roberto Martinez seems to have gotten the perfect formula for all their big name players to gel. Big wins against Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Costa Rica proved their potent attack can be devastating, while a 0-0 draw against Portugal was a good test for their defence.
Panama have lost 3 and drawn 1 of their last 5 games, with their only win coming in a narrow 1-0 victory over Trinidad And Tobago. A 6-0 defeat to Switzerland in March has caused fans to believe that they will struggle in the World Cup.
Head To Head Record
These two nations have never met in any competition or friendly before.
Belgium have one of the most formidable starting lineups in the tournament, with defensive cover cited as their only weakness. A major shock was the exclusion of AS Roma’s combative midfielder Radja Nainggolan from the final 23 man squad, a decision which forced the player to take immediate retirement from international football and sent shockwaves down the European football circuit. Belgium would be happy to have Michy Batshuayi back from a lengthy injury though.
The biggest news coming out of Panama’s camp before the world cup was the tragic murder of one of their most experienced players Amilcar Henriquez, 33, who was killed in an attempted robbery last year. The team pays a minute’s tribute to him before every game they play.
Players To Watch Out For
Belgium have an abundance of world class talent to choose from, none more so than Chelsea’s mercurial forward Eden Hazard. Widely considered as one of the best players in the world, this could finally be Hazard’s golden chance to prove that he is on the same level as Messi and Ronaldo. Kevin De Bruyne, arguably the Premier League’s best player last season will be pulling the strings in midfield, while Manchester United’s striker Romelu Lukaku would be gunning for the Golden Boot straight away.
Panama’s talismanic captain Roman Torres is the main marquee player, who was also the scorer of the all-important goal, which sealed their qualification. He is the epitome of Panama’s playing style, which is based more on determination and physicality than technique and skill. Mainstays Gabriel Gomez in midfield and goalkeeper Jaime Penedo continue their duties as they have done over the years.
Belgium Vs Panama Betting Odds And Key Statistics
- On paper there is not match as Belgium are ranked 3rd in the world, while Panama are ranked 56. This is Belgium’s 13th World Cup appearance, while Panama are making their debut after 10 failed qualifying campaigns in the past.
- Belgium won their first 4 games at the 2014 World Cup before being eliminated by Argentina in the quarterfinal. They are heavy favourites to reach the quarterfinal stage this time around as well.
- This match is expected to be a thoroughly one sided affair with Belgium the clear favourites. Panama will try to contain this talented Belgian side but we firmly expect The Red Devils to achieve a comfortable win.
- Considering Belgium’s attacking threat, and Panama’s weak defence in comparison, we would strongly recommend betting on the above 2.5 goals market. Romelu Lukaku to open the scoring is also an attractive bet.
Belgium are widely tipped to go all the way in this tournament, and with a group also containing Tunisia and England, would be looking to gain a big advantage in their first game and sort out their goal difference with a huge win. We firmly expect them to do just that.
Our Predicted Score line : Belgium 4-0 Panama