Group favourites Belgium and tournament outsiders Panama match up in Group G on Monday 18th June, with the Belgians strongly tipped to take all three points. This group also contains England and Tunisia.
Where and when: Fisht Stadium, Sochi – 18 June, kick-off 16:00
Where you can see Belgium vs. Panama: William Hill, BBC
Last time: These two sides have never previously played each other, neither in a friendly nor a competitive fixture.
|Romelu Lukaku anytime goalscorer||7/10||Offer|
|Double chance on Panama win/draw||19/4||Offer|
|Under 2.5 goals||13/12||Offer|
Belgium vs. Panama Predictions and Preview
Panama’s qualification was one of the stories of the qualification process, with the underdogs advancing at the expense of the United States of America.
Los Canaleros have no players based in any major European league and will not set any targets in a group from which they are unlikely to advance.
Roberto Martinez’s Belgium are blessed with an embarrassment of riches including Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Thibaut Courtois and Dries Mertens.
Belgium advanced to the 2014 FIFA World Cup quarter-finals after a 12-year absence and the Red Devils will be hoping of qualification for the last eight if not better.
The Belgians are clear favourites to win this game at odds of 1/5, with a shock Panama victory available at 25/1 and the draw priced at 33/5.
Under 2.5 goals is available at 13/12 while over 2.5 goals is priced at 7/10.
A ‘double chance’ on Panama to battle their way to either a draw or a win is available at 19/4.
If you fancy Belgium to be leading at both half-time and at the final whistle, such odds are available at 4/6.
One to watch for Belgium: Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku is Belgium’s all-time leading goal scorer with 36 goals in just 69 caps for his nation. He is priced at 7/10 to score anytime in this fixture.
One to watch for Panama: Experienced forward Gabriel Torres, now at Chilean club Huachipato after a spell in Switzerland, has 14 international goals and is available at to score at 17/2 any point here.
Long shot: Panama are likely to employ extremely conservative tactics in each group game but will hope to play for a 0-0 in this encounter and nullify Belgium’s array of attacking stars. A scoreless draw in this game is available at odds of 14/1.