Belgium vs. Panama Expert 2018 World Cup Betting Analysis.

Belgium vs. Panama Expert 2018 World Cup Betting Analysis

Written by on June 15, 2018

Brazil has the most talented roster in the World Cup. But it might surprise you to learn that many experts believe that Belgium has the second-best roster overall. However, this could be the last chance for this group of players to win World Cup glory with some of them getting up there in age. Belgium opens Group G play Monday as a huge 2018 World Cup Betting favorite over Panama, a team that is going to play their first World Cup ever, while Belgium already played nine. According to MyBookie Sportsbook, the “Red Devils” are not just favorites to win their group, but also to win it all alongside Brazil, Germany, and France. Be sure to check our Soccer News page to stay on top of the 2018 World Cup Betting action.

Expert 2018 World Cup Betting Analysis: Belgium vs. Panama

  • When: Monday, 11 AM ET
  • Where: Fisch Stadium, Sochi, Russia
  • TV/Stream: Fox Sports 1/Fox Sports Go
  • 2018 World Cup Betting Odds: Belgium -556 / Panama +1450 / Draw +560 (2.5)

Why Bet on Belgium?

  • Confederation: UEFA
  • Head coach: Roberto Martínez
  • Captain: Eden Hazard
  • FIFA Ranking: 3
Belgium had a very easy campaign in UEFA’s qualifying Group H, which seemed relatively straightforward in the first place with Greece, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Estonia, Cyprus, and Gibraltar. They scored 43 goals in the qualifying with Romelu Lukaku leading the way with 11 and Eden Hazard adding six goals and five assists. This side is stacked with talent and on a 19-match unbeaten run. But despite being flush with that talent for the last few major tournaments, Belgium did not make it past the quarterfinals in either the 2016 Euro Cup or the 2014 World Cup. Is this the year the country’s “Golden Generation” pans out, or will they disappoint yet again? Those disappointments aside, the Belgians’ lineup is truly one of the best in the world with the likes of Thomas Vermaelen, Vincent Kompany, Hazard, Moussa Dembele, Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne, Thibaut Courtois, and Mousa Dembele. The one hang-up is that the same players went to the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016 and didn’t deliver the expected results, mostly because they lacked a winning mentality and had tactical problems that resulted in a poor balance between the stars. Belgium warmed up with an impressive 4-1 win over Costa Rica on Monday but got a scare with Hazard leaving in the second half. The Chelsea star limped to the sidelines after being caught by an opponent, but Coach Roberto Martinez told Belgian media there were no concerns ahead of the World Cup opener. Hazard shone behind Manchester United forward Lukaku, who scored twice, and Napoli’s Dries Mertens, who was also on target. De Bruyne has urged teammate Hazard to remain calm, saying he expects the Chelsea winger to be targeted aggressively by opponents at the World Cup. De Bruyne, who enjoyed a stellar Premier League season with champions Manchester City, believes such situations can be used to advantage. “Even if he [Hazard] gets kicked, we get a free kick, an advantage, and they get a yellow, so it is positive,” the 26-year-old said.

Possible Line-Up

  • 1-T. Courtois
  • 5-J. Vertonghen
  • 2-T. Alderweireld
  • 15-T. Meunier
  • 20-D. Boyata
  • 6-A. Witsel
  • 7-K. De Bruyne
  • 11-Y. Carrasco
  • 10-E. Hazard
  • 14-D. Mertens
  • 9-R. Lukaku

Why Bet on Panama?

  • Confederation: CONCACAF
  • Head coach: Hernán Darío Gómez
  • Captain: Román Torres
  • FIFA Ranking: 55
It’s Panama’s first trip to soccer’s biggest stage. After being denied a berth in the 2014 World Cup when they conceded two goals to the USA in stoppage time in the final qualifying game, Panama this year beat Costa Rica in the final game of qualifying, which essentially eliminated the United States after their shocking loss to Trinidad and Tobago. Panama will be bringing an older squad to the World Cup this year, led by defenseman Roman Torres. Panama feature perhaps their best generation of players, a mix of outgoing veterans such as goalkeeper Jaime Penedo (36 years old), defender Felipe Baloy (37), Blas Perez (37) in attack and captain Roman Torres (32), along with a youth movement charged with maintaining the success that led to this first World Cup berth. Miguel Camargo (24), Michael Murillo (22) and Ricardo Avila (21) will look to make a good first impression. Panama comes in as huge 2018 World Cup Betting underdog against Belgium. Perez will need one last bit of magic if Los Canaleros are to advance out of Group G, which isn’t being projected by many. Perez has scored 43 international goals. Penedo is the face of the team with 128 caps, the second-most ever for Panama. He plays for Dinamo Bucuresti, where he won a league cup with the Romanian first-division side in 2017. And he was the best goalkeeper in the 2005 and 2013 editions of the Gold Cup; in both instances, Panama finished as runner-up to the United States. Charismatic Colombian manager Hernan Dario Gomez has worked wonders since taking over in 2014 and is one of four people to have led three different national teams to the World Cup, having taken Colombia in 1998 and Ecuador in 2002. But many of Panama’s prominent players are well past their primes and have lost a step. They’ll comprise the oldest team in Russia.

Possible Line-Up

  • 1-J. Penedo
  • 5-R. Torres
  • 13-A. Machado
  • 15-E. Davis
  • 4-F. Escobar
  • 6-G. Gómez
  • 11-A. Cooper
  • 20-A. Godoy
  • 8-E. Bárcenas
  • 21-José Rodriguez
  • 7-B. Pérez

Team’s Recent Results

Belgium
  • Belgium 4 – Costa Rica 1
  • Belgium 3 – Egypt 0
  • Portugal 0 – Belgium 0
  • Belgium 4 – Saudi Arabia 0
  • Belgium 1 – Japan 0
Panama
  • Norway 1 – Panama 0
  • Panama 0 – Northern Ireland 0
  • Trinidad & Tobago 0 – Panama 1
  • Switzerland 6 – Panama 0
  • Denmark 1 – Panama 0

Expert Prediction

Belgium 3 – Panama 0.

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