FIFA World Cup 2018: Group G Preview
The second-last group of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia is Group G. Belgium, England, Panama and Tunisia are clubbed in this group.
Here’s a detailed look at them all.
The number three side in FIFA Rankings, Belgium has a great opportunity to finally match the potential they possess on paper.
In UEFA Euro 2016, they were knocked out by Wales in the Quarter-Finals. This defeat was a reality check for the nation and they have come back stronger than ever.
Mercurial winger Eden Hazard is the captain of the Red Devils. He has the support of Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku and Napoli forward Dries Mertens.
Creative midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has garnered attention for being one of the best players in the world. Along with Axel Witsel and Mouse Dembele, they have experienced professionals who have played in the top teams of major leagues.
The defence is strong as well with the likes of Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Vincent Kompany.
Coach Roberto Martinez also has one of the best goalkeepers in the world right now in Thibaut Courtois.
Even though their team looks one of the strongest units when seen on the pitch, they still have heavily under-delivered given the calibre they possess is the fact of the matter.
This World Cup would be an ideal time for the team to face their demons and showcase the brilliance that is expected of them.
Key Players: Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne, Thibaut Courtois
The 1966 World Cup winners have a rejuvenated squad this time out at the tournament.
After a shocking defeat to Iceland in the Round of 16 in UEFA Euro 2016, The Lions are looking for redemption.
Coach Gareth Southgate has picked players on the basis of their form and not name, which means that England will have a better outing than last time.
Cerebral striker Harry Kane has been chosen as the captain of the team. His form in the Premier League in the recent years has made him the most important player for the English.
Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling is also one to look out for as he had a sensational season. He was a pivotal part of the team that won the Premier League title in 2017/18 Season.
For Southgate to cement himself as the man for the job, he needs to brave in his selection and tactics. If the team performs the way he wants them to operate, it would be tough for any team to go past England.
Key Players: Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling
The Central American nation is making its first appearance in the FIFA World Cup.
After a scintillating tie with Costa Rica on the final matchday, they secured their spot for the tournament.
It has been a long and hard road for the country to make its debut at the biggest stage of them all.
But, the team has a lot of players who are above the age of 30. They will be experienced, but their body will not be able to always do what their mind wants.
Regardless, the opportunity to represent your country and be the first squad to make it to the World Cup should fire up the players and produce some good performances.
Blas Perez has been the focal point of the attack for the country. Gabriel Gomez, Roman Torres and Luis Tejada are also an integral part of the side.
Key Players: Blas Perez, Gabriel Gomez, Jaime Penedo
Verdict: Group Stage
The African side is making its return after a 12-year absence from the World Cup. They are also the fourth African nation to qualify.
This is Tunisia’s fifth appearance in the tournament. In their last four outings, they were ousted in the group stage itself.
Being the 13th ranked team in the FIFA rankings and just one behind their Group G opponents in England, Tunisia will be looking to make the most of this opportunity.
Goalkeeper Aymen Mathlouthi is the captain of the team. Wahib Khazri is the vice-captain are arguably the most important player in the team. He has been exceptional this season in the French League and will be looking to carry forward the momentum.
Key Players: Wahib Khazri, Saber Khalifa, Ali Maaloul
Verdict: Group Stage