England is set to play Tunisia in the first match of their 2018 World Cup campaign. The game takes place on Monday, June 18th, with a 7 p.m. GMT kickoff. Who will win, who will score, and can England prove that they are once again capable of making it out of the group stages?
Let’s make one thing clear: By no means is England the favorite to win the tournament. Teams like Germany and Brazil are way up there on the list while England stands at around 14/1 odds of winning the 2018 World Cup. Despite this, they have a decent shot at beating Tunisia and are hot favorites to win the game at 4/11.
With the game highly in their favor, rooting for England to win doesn’t offer much value. The second most likely outcome is a draw at 19/5, and if the game is a draw, then it’s possible that it will be goalless: Tunisia struggling to make the pace and score a goal, and England not warming up quick enough to capitalize. Tunisia’s shot at winning is slim at 10/1.
Tunisia Team is Inferior
The Tunisia team is reasonably strong defensively, with Valencia player Aymen Abdennour likely to be marking Harry Kane at the back. Yet they are missing play maker Youssef Msakni, their key midfielder, who is now out with a serious knee injury.
Tunisia failed to win a game in their last three World Cups, and only made the quarterfinals of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. Simply put, they are an inferior team, at least on paper.
England’s Looking Solid
Southgate’s team has everything to play for, and they have some impressive talent this year. Harry Kane could be the striker to drive England forward to glory. Sterling and Dele Alli will also provide potent attacking power, and with Manchester United (who we correctly predicted would beat Brighton the other day), smoking gun Rashford sitting as a healthy reserve, you would think that England will be able to produce goals on the day. Harry Kane to score is a fair call.
What England is lacking is a solid first-choice goalkeeper. Joe Hart seems set to lose his place after a disappointing season while Jordan Pickford is looking set to take up the gloves. Jack Butland, of the relegated Stoke City, was mentioned. Will any of them be able to hold up to world-class standards if England makes it out of the group stages? Probably not. Will they stand up to Tunisia’s efforts on the goal? They should.
Full-Time Score Prediction
The correct score of the game, to make a prediction based on bookmakers’ odds, would be an England win of 0-1 or 0-2, both of which have 5/1 odds. It’s highly unlikely that Tunisia will score, and so a result of 1-2 to England offers generous odds and may be worth a look if you believe Tunisia can bag one.
Overall, the prediction is England to win. They may be able to produce a 2-0 lead if they manage to get going. Tunisia shouldn’t be a problem overall. After that, England faces Panama and then Belgium, the latter of which is the fiercest competition of the group. Fingers crossed, England may make it out of the group stages alive this time, if only in second place behind Belgium.