2018 World Cup Betting Preview & Pick: Tunisia vs. England.

2018 World Cup Betting Preview & Pick: Tunisia vs. England

Written by on June 15, 2018

England has tended to disappoint on the big stage in recent years, and it would be nothing short of catastrophic for the Three Lions to be upset in the Group G opener against Tunisia on Monday in World Cup action. Most expect Belgium to win this group and England to also advance and finish second. It is a solid Mybookie Sportsbook betting favorite against Tunisia.

Tunisia vs. England 2018 World Cup Betting Preview & Pick

  • When: Monday, 2 PM ET
  • Where: Volgograd Arena, Volgograd, Russia
  • TV/Stream: Fox Sports 1/Fox Sports Go
  • 2018 World Cup Betting Odds: England -233 / Tunisia +750 / Draw +290 (2.5)

Why Bet on England?

  • Confederation: UEFA
  • Head coach: Gareth Southgate
  • Captain: Harry Kane
  • FIFA Ranking: 12
Expectations in England have plummeted because of the team’s performances in recent major tournaments: exiting the 2014 World Cup at the group stage and losing to Iceland in the round of 16 at Euro 2016.But the Three Lions could be primed for one of their most promising World Cup prospects in decades, and a strong qualifying campaign has heaped loads of pressure on England’s shoulders. England made light work of a favorable draw in the UEFA qualifying section, emerging unbeaten at the top of a Group F that included Slovakia, Scotland, Slovenia, Lithuania and Malta by a convincing eight-point margin. England scored 18 goals and allowed only 3.England is a much more cohesive group under manager Gareth Southgate, having managed draws in friendly matches with powerhouses Germany and Brazil as recently as November. England also went undefeated in qualifying for 2018, with eight wins and two draws. Twelve different players scored for England during that run, led by star striker Harry Kane.Kane has a compelling claim to be considered the world’s best striker and the deadliest finisher England have taken to a major tournament since Michael Owen in 2002. There are shades of both Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham in Kane’s game. He had five goals in qualifying. England’s best player is also its biggest worry: Kane hasn’t been himself since rushing back from an ankle injury in March.There’s one massive question mark in net. Despite the strong defensive record, there’s not a single center back who has been playing consistently and at a high level for his club. Jordan Pickford is the clear favorite, not least because Southgate said the starting XI that featured him against Nigeria “won’t be too far away” from the team he goes with against Tunisia. It would be a stunner if Nick Pope got the nod, having played a grand total of 25 international minutes. And Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s injury is a significant blow on defense.Has any soccer-mad nation suffered more heartbreaking penalty shootout losses – in any competition – than England? England’s most recent crushing penalty shootout loss in this tournament was the 2006 World Cup quarterfinal against Portugal that finished 0-0 after extra time. They would lose 3-1 in PKs. Portuguese goalkeeper Ricardo became the first goalkeeper to save three penalties in a World Cup penalty shootout.

Possible Line-Up

  • 1-J. Pickford
  • 3-A. Young
  • 6-G. Cahill
  • 4-K. Walker
  • 2-K. Trippier
  • 5-J. Stones
  • 11-D. Alli
  • 7-J. Lingard
  • 8-E. Dier
  • 9-H. Kane
  • 10-R. Sterling

Why Bet on Tunisia?

  • Confederation: CAF
  • Head coach: Nabil Maâloul
  • Captain: Wahbi Khazri
  • FIFA Ranking: 21
Tunisia was drawn into arguably the most favorable of the five African qualifying groups, with the Democratic Republic of Congo representing their sternest rivals. Tunisia won them all.Tunisia’s coach is Nabil Maaloul. A former assistant under Roger Lemerre when Tunisia won the African Cup of Nations in 2002, Maaloul took over from Henri Kasperczak two matches into Tunisia’s World Cup qualifying campaign.Tunisia has a solid World Cup history, having appeared four times since 1998. They have never made it out of the group stage and have only one win in their history at the World Cup. This year they are fielding a solid team except for the fact that star forward Youssef Msakni, who underwent knee surgery earlier this year. The forward netted a memorable hat-trick in a rout of Guinea during the qualifiers. Without him, there’s a creative void, and in general a distressing lack of quality in the middle and final thirds.Otherwise, they are made up mostly of players of French origin who have Tunisian citizenship. The trio of Ferjani Sassi, Mohamed Amine Ben Amor, and Ghaylène Chaalali offer balance, discipline, and energy in the heart of the park, and will ensure that Tunisia remains competitive.Tunisia is a huge 2018 World Cup Betting underdogs.Will Wahbi Khazri play? The 27-year-old attacker tallied nine goals and two assists while on loan (from Sunderland) to Ligue 1 side Rennes this season. Khazri (fitness), however, is in a race against time to be fit for Monday’s opener. He is likely to play.In some respects, Tunisia is a nightmare opponent. While the north African side can’t match up with their opponent’s man for man, they are the type of team who’ll raise their game in an opening match, dig in and be nightmarish to play against for a while. They’re a flexible outfit, but when they go into a defensive mindset, they can defend well.Tunisia is one of six predominantly Muslim nations at the 2018 World Cup. That’s notable, because Ramadan is underway, and won’t end until the day after the World Cup opener. That could lead to some fitness questions with players fasting.

Possible Line-Up

  • 16-A. Mathlouthi
  • 2-S. Ben Youssef
  • 12-A. Maâloul
  • 11-D. Bronn
  • 23-N. Sliti
  • 13-F. Sassi
  • 17-E. Skhiri
  • 7-S. Khaoui
  • 4-Y. Meriah
  • 9-A. Badri
  • 8-F. Ben Youssef

Team’s Recent Results

England 
  • England 2 – Costa Rica 0
  • England 2 – Nigeria 1
  • Italy 1 – England 1
  • Netherlands 0 – England 1
  • England 0 – Brazil 0
Tunisia
  • Tunisia 0 – Spain 1
  • Tunisia 2 – Turkey 2
  • Portugal 2 – Tunisia 2
  • Tunisia 1 – Costa Rica 0
  • Tunisia 1 – Iran 0

Expert Predictions

England 2 – Tunisia 1

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