GROUP G of the 2018 World Cup concludes on Thursday night when Panama play Tunisia in Saransk. Adam Goodwin (@AGJournalism) previews the encounter.
Panama v Tunisia | Thursday 27th June 2018, 19:00 | ITV4
Unlike Belgium v England, this is a complete dead rubber and, regardless of the result, this will be both sides final game of the tournament.
Neither have impressed in their last two games but perhaps this is a chance for either side to go out and send their fans home with a win under their belt.
Panama scored their first World Cup goal against England on Sunday, and they’ll be looking for their World Cup win against Tunisia.
The Canal Men continued with their aggressive and dogged defending, but it didn’t stop Harry Kane and co banging in six goals against them. Their grappling in the penalty area was naïve and if they continue to be so reckless against Tunisia, you’d imagine they’ll give away even more penalties.
Within the last 12 months, Panama have conceded six goals against Switzerland, two against Iran, two against Iran and two against Honduras. Their defence cannot be trusted and you’d expect them to concede another hatful against Tunisia.
Whabi Khazri finally stepped up for his side against Belgium and, whilst his defence might have let him down, the Sunderland midfielder put in a good shift up-top and grabbed a goal for his side. He had five shots during the game on Saturday and with the midfielder playing in a more offensive role for Tunisia, you’d fancy him to get a goal against a weak Panama back-line.
Tunisia have already scored two past Belgium and, albeit a penalty, also scored against England, so they shouldn’t have too much trouble bagging a couple against a Panama defence that’s already conceded nine goals at the World Cup.
The Tunisians also scored over 1.5 goals in 6/8 (75%) of their qualifying games, so you’d fancy them to add to their three-goal tally.
The betting angle
Tunisia are rated as the best African team by FIFA and should have enough to beat World Cup debutants Panama. I’ve already outlined Panama’s weak defence and Tunisia to score over 1.5 goals against them is 5/6 with Bet365.
Whilst this isn’t the biggest price in the world, you’d imagine that Nabil Maaloul will want his Tunisian troops to send their fans home happy with at least one win on the board and a good display to match.
Panama v Tunisia – Tunisia to score Over 1.5 Goals (5/6 Bet365)