By Thomas Reynolds
Last Updated: 24th June 2018
Kick off: Sunday 24th June
Nizhny Novgorod Stadium
Live on BBC1 and BBC1 HD
England vs Panama odds – in-play betting
Before this game, England had scored more second-half goals (16) than first-half goals (13) during Gareth Southgate’s reign.
If you think they can at least double their 5-0 half-time advantage, over 9.5 goals is available to back at 14/1 in-play (as of 2:27pm on matchday).
England vs Panama Featured #YourOdds market
Harry Kane scored a first-half goal on each of his last three England starts – we’re offering 3/1 on him extending the streak to four against Panama.
England vs Panama odds
England haven’t won consecutive games at a World Cup since 2006 and only twice before have they won their opening two games.
The Three Lions have never crossed paths with Los Canaleros (The Canal Men) in the history of the beautiful game, but their recent resume against Central American sides isn’t particularly convincing.
A 0-0 draw against Honduras in a friendly prior to the 2014 World Cup, was followed up by the 0-0 group stage stalemate against Costa Rica that sealed their exit from the tournament prior to the knockout rounds.
On a more positive note Gareth Southgate’s men bested the latter 2-0 at Elland Road in their final friendly before this year’s tournament, with goals from Marcus Rashford and Danny Welbeck, extending their record of clean sheets against CONCACAF sides in the process.
Harry Kane World Cup top scorer odds slashed
Harry Kane became the first Englishman to score two goals in a single World Cup game since Gary Lineker all the way back in 1986 and has been talked up for World Cup top goalscorer at by former Three Lions number nine Alan Shearer.
Kane is 19/5 to be first goalscorer in England vs Panama and as short as 8/13 to score at any time, while his Golden Boot odds have been slashed into 7/1 third-favourite.
To make good on those odds, the Tottenham talisman, will have to thwart Los Canaleros defender Roman Torres, who, it has been revealed, is the heaviest player at the World Cup.
Built like a bulldozer at upwards of 15 stone, Torres has extra motivation for keeping Kane quiet, as the 32-year-old has voiced hopes that a strong showing will help his chances of earning a move to Europe following the tournament.
Only a disagreement over personal terms, kiboshed the Panama centre-half’s move to Nottingham Forest after a successful trial in 2012.
England vs Panama injury and team news
Dele Alli is expected to miss England vs Panama after a scan at a hospital in St. Petersburg revealed a minor thigh strain from England’s win over Tunisia.
Alli has been joined on the Three Lions injury list by manager Gareth Southgate, who managed to dislocate his shoulder while out jogging around the team’s base in Repino.
“The doc has made it clear punching the air is not an option,” the England manager self-effacingly told the press.
Raheem Sterling had been expected to keep his place alongside Harry Kane, but a leaked picture of a teamsheet in Steve Holland’s hand appears to imply that the Manchester City star may miss out, with Rashford getting the nod to partner Kane.
Danny Rose may be presented with an opportunity to stake a claim to the left wing-back slot at the expense of Ashley Young, although that part of the leaked diagram was obscured by Holland’s thumb.
England vs Panama: opponent profile
News.williamhill.com‘s Central American expert Jack Barter-Crawley has given us the low down on England’s second Group G opponents. Feel free to pass his work off as your own on your family sofa, or down your local.
Los Canaleros finest hour came back in 2009 when they won the second tier CONCACAF continental trophy, the Copa Centroamerica, but oddly enough the current squad’s high-watermark arguably came in their ultimately-doomed qualification attempt for the 2014 World Cup.
They scored more goals and won more games in trying to reach Brazil 2014 than they did when grinding their way to a historic first appearance in the 2018 World Cup.
Tactically, Panama will tough to break down and physical in their defending. When they get the ball they typically like to play out from the back, but can also be direct and boast willing ball carriers such as Anibal Godoy and Joel Barcenas.
Gabriel Torres, was Los Canaleros’ top scorer in qualifying and may well be preferred to Blas Perez up front after a lively cameo from the bench against Belgium, in which the 29-year-old, practically a teenager, in the context of this aged Panamanian squadron, proved a willing runner in the channels.
Possessed of dangerous pace, he took the ball from the edge of his own area to score against Trinidad and Tobago in qualification for the World Cup. England will need to be wary of complacency if they defend with a high line.
More to follow…