England to find joy against minnows… Day 11 predictions

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England vs Panama (24 June, 2018 1:00pm)

We’ve been spot on with our predictions in the past few days and we’re pleased to deliver the latest edition which sees three fixtures. First up is the 3 Lions up against World Cup debutants Panama, David and Goliath in all regards. The English national team has had fair share of challenges, from the Raheem Sterling saga to the inevitable Dele Alli omission and of course the team sheet leakage, in all they have managed to weather the storm and stay focused, the victory over Tunisia wasn’t pretty but it keeps them in place for the next round, a victory here guarantees qualification while they slug it out with Belgium who have rich goal difference at the moment after blowing off Panama and Tunisia in quick succession. Panama fought hard within their might against Belgium but the quality the Red Devils possessed shot them down, how much of energy can they exert on this fixture? No star player, just a hard working bunch with high spirit. England are expected to win here, and comfortably too, Harry Kane would be looking to add to his brace against Tunisia with another strong showing here; early goal is the key, and patience if it doesn’t come early. Panama can work out Mathematics, should they beat England here and Belgium beat England, anything can happen. The pressure is on England here but nothing will go wrong.

Verdict: England to win

 

Japan vs Senegal (24 June, 2018 4:00pm)

Japan won their opener, albeit against a ten man Colombia, they did what had to be done and are well placed to advance to the next stage, but first they have business to do with Senegal, conquerors of Poland. This would be a fiery affair, the experience of Shinji Kagawa, Keisuke Honda and Maya Yoshida of Southampton up against the pace and power of Sadio Mane, Mbaye Niang and Kalidou Koulibally. Two different orientations near parity in abilities, this would be a cracker of sort. Who needs it more? That’s hard to answer, Japan are up against Poland next and considering the fact that the Europeans lost their opener to Senegal, they would need points in their final group game to stand a chance of qualifying, Senegal plays Colombia next, they would prefer to do their business here and enjoy the final group game, this makes this a do or die. Man for man it looks even, tactics for tactics it looks balanced, but showings in their respective openers tilts this slightly in favour of the Africans; Japan had it easy against Colombia who had Carlos Sanchez sent off early while Senegal labored with full concentration to hold off Poland who fought back late on. Senegal are the hopes of Africa, with the three north Africans in the competition dumped out already, with one eye on what Nigeria does against Argentina, dear Senegal… Africa is watching.

Verdict: Full time draw

 

Poland vs Colombia (24 June, 2018 7:00pm)

Dear Poland, you lose here you’re off to Warsaw, hello Colombia, you lose today, you head back to Bogota, it’s that simple for the duo. Both sides lost in different fashions in the opener, Colombia to Japan and Poland to Senegal. Whatever happens here, they both would play their final matches but it could be of zero significance to whichever side that loses. Poland have their talismanic forward, Robert Lewandowski to hope on as they try to heap more misery on the south Americans who will have to ring changes following the dismissal of Carlos Sanchez in the opening exchanges against Japan. A very talented forward line of Juan Cudrado, Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez would give any team headache any day anytime, but their defense left too much to be desired against the Asians and must now shore things up as Lewandowski knocks. Bookmakers would struggle with this fixture, there are huge reasons to worry about what style of play either side would turn up with, they both need to win hence a need for intelligent attacking, and anything short of that would leave them vulnerable at the back. The fear of crashing out would make this the game of the day as they both go for it.

Verdict: Colombia to win or draw

Strictly the writer’s opinion (@komptrolla on twitter)

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