World Cup Group G Preview

Belgium and England to go through, although with England you never know.

Belgium

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History

Belgium have participated in twelve World Cups, their first came in 1930 and their best finish has been fourth which they achieved in 1986. 

Team Preview

Goalkeepers – Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Koen Casteels (VFL Wolfsburg)
Defenders – Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham), Thomas Meunier (PSG), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht)
Midfielders – Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Youri Tielemans (Monaco), Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham), Nacer Chadli (West Brom)
Forwards – Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea)
Manager – Roberto Martinez 
Most Caps – Jan Vertonghen (101)
Captain – Eden Hazard
Star Player – Eden Hazard

Analysis

If one were to pick the dark horses for this World Cup Belgium would be first on that list. With quality all over the pitch and Eden Hazard running the show the red devils as they are called should easily get into the round of 16, and could reach the semi-finals. Belgium played three friendlies in preparation for the World Cup drawing the first and winning the next two. Belgium are a team to look out for and if Martinez can strike the right balance between all the top players then we could have the potential World Cup winners in our hand. 

Panama

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History

Panama will make their first appearance in a World Cup this time. 

Team Preview

Goalkeepers – Jaime Penedo (Dinamo Bucuresti), José Caldéron (Chorrillo), Alex Rodriguez (San Francisco) 
Defenders – Michael Amir Murillo (New York Red Bulls), Harold Cummings (San Jose Earthquakes), Fidel Escobar (New York Red Bulls), Roman Torres (Seattle Sounders), Adolfo Machado (Houston Dynamo), Erick Davis (Dunajska Streda), Luis Ovalle (CD Olimpia), Felipe Baloy (Municipal)
Midfielders – Gabriel Gomez (Atletico Bucaramanga), Edgar Barcenas (Tapachula), Armando Cooper (Universidad de Chile), Valentin Pimentel (Plaza Amador), Ricardo Avila (Gent), Anibal Godoy (San Jose Earthquakes), José Luis Rodriguez (Gent)
Forwards – Blas Perez (Municipal), Gabriel Torres (Huachipato), Ismael Diaz (Deportivo Fabril), Abdiel Arroyo (Alajuelense), Luis Tejada (Sport Boys)
Manager – Hernan Dario Gomez 
Most Caps – Gabriel Gomez (144)
Captain – Felipe Baloy
Star Player – Blas Perez 

Analysis

Panama have already achieved history by reaching their first World Cup, having been given a tough group with England and Belgium included, if Panama were too pick any points or a even a win it would be seen as icing on the cake. Panama played two friendlies drawing one and losing the other. Panama should give it their all because they are already winners in this competition. 

Tunisia

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History 

Tunisia have participated in four World Cups, their first came in 1978, and they have never gotten past the group stage of the tournament. Tunisia return after having missed the last two World Cups. 

Team Preview

Goalkeepers – Farouk Ben Mustapha (Al-Shabab), Aymen Mathlouthi (Al-Batin), Mouez Hassen (Chateauroux)
Defenders – Syam Ben Youssef (Kasimpasa), Yohan Benalouane (Leicester City), Yassine Meriah (CS Sfaxien), Oussama Haddadi (Dijon), Rami Bedoui (Etoile du Sahel), Dylan Bronn (Gent), Ali Maaloul (Al Ahly), Hamdi Nagguez (Zamalek)
Midfielders – Anice Badri (Esperance), Ferjani Sassi (Al-Nassr), Mohamed Amin Ben Amor (Al-Ahli), Ellyes Skhiri (Montpellier)
Forwards – Saif-Eddine Khaoui (Troyes), Fakhreddine Ben Youssef (Al-Etiffaq), Wahbi Khazri (Rennes), Ahmed Khalil (Club Africain), Bassem Srarfi (Nice), Saber Khalifa (Club Africain), Ghailene Chaalali (Eseperance), Naim Sliti (Dijon)
Manager – Nabil Maaloul
Most Caps – Aymen Mathlouthi (70)
Captain – Aymen Mathlouthi
Star Player – Wahbi Khazri

Analysis 

Tunisia have never gotten past the group stage, and it does not seem like they will get past this one either. Tunisia have a decent team but on paper it seems that they will be fighting Panama for who finishes third in the group. Tunisia played three friendlies in preparation for the World Cup, drawing the first two and narrowly losing the second to Spain. Tunisia could cause a few upsets and with a group that includes England one never knows they might make it to the round of 16. 

England

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History 

England have participated in fourteen World Cups, their first came in 1950 and they managed to win the competition in 1966. 

Team Preview

Goalkeepers – Jordan Pickford (Everton), Jack Butland (Stoke City), Nick Pope (Burnley)
Defenders – Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Danny Rose (Tottenham), John Stones (Manchester City), Harry Maguire (Leicester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Midfielders – Eric Dier (Tottenham), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea)
Forwards – Harry Kane (Tottenham), Raheem Sterling (Manchester Cit), Jaime Vardy (Leicester City), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
Manager – Gareth Southgate
Most Caps – Gary Cahill (60)
Captain – Harry Kane
Star Player – Harry Kane

Analysis 

Their is an air of excitement around England this time, its not necessarily that people think that England will win the competition but it is more of what will we see. Gareth Southgate has picked a youthful side and has made several exclusions of England stalwarts. England played two friendlies in preparation for the World Cup and they won both. Southgate has also employed different techniques with the press and players to create an air of positivity around the team. England should get through the group and if they reach the quarter-finals of this competition it will be seen as a positive performance. 

 

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