We are at Day 5 of FIFA World Cup 2018 and we are about to witness a historic match today. Panama face off against Belgium, in which Panama is clearly the underdog, this being their first time at a World Cup.
The opening match in Group G promises to deliver a fascinating contrast of styles. Belgium go into the game with serious momentum after some impressive performances in their warm-up friendlies. Their coach Roberto Martinez boasts a talented generation at the peak of its powers. His players bring solid international experience. They now hope to reach a whole new level in Russia.
Belgium is currently going through a period considered to be the nation’s greatest ever golden generation of talents. The Red Devils have stampeded their way into the tournament with barbaric form. They boasted 7 goals in 2 games only conceding 1 in the recent duo of friendlies. Belgium are one of the favorites to win the World Cup. To know which other teams could be lifting the World Cup, click here.
As for Panama, they are set to embark on their first ever World Cup adventure but they have no intention of giving Les Diables Rouges (Red Devils) an easy start. Coach Hernan Dario Gomez is wary of Belgium’s firepower and will be anxious for his side to keep things tight at the back. Panama will hoping to prove dynamite truly does come in small packages boasting a truly modest population of just over 4 million people.
Panama will look to perform a miracle and defy odds and progress from a group that hosts both England and Belgium. Panama will look towards Iceland’s Herculean performance against Argentina as a source of inspiration as they look to remain compact, put their bodies on the line and frustrate the Red Devils whilst being brave going forward.
Did you know?
This fixture may look one-sided on paper, but a glance at the history books makes it appear even more daunting for Panama. Since losing to Mexico at the Estadio Azteca during the group stage at the 1986 World Cup, Belgium are undefeated in 11 matches against CONCACAF nations, posting nine wins and two draws. Panama, on the other hand, have yet to prevail in nine previous meetings with European teams, drawing four and losing five.
Belgium: Thibaut Courtois; Jan Vertonghen, Dedryck Boyata, Toby Alderweireld; Axel Witsel, Kevin De Bruyne, Yannick Carrasco, Thomas Meunier; Dries Mertens, Eden Hazard; Romelu Lukaku
Panama: Jaime Penedo; Roman Torres, Fidel Escobar, Eric Davis, Michael Murillo; Gabriel Gomez, Anibal Godoy, Armando Cooper, Edgar Barcenas, Jose Luis Rodriguez; Blas Perez
SPORTSANALYST SCORE LINE PREDICTION:
BELGIUM 4 – 1 PANAMA
Where to Watch:
Belgium vs Panama will prove to be another classic world cup clash of locksmith vs lock as Belgium will look to try unlock the stubborn Panama side. Catch live action on Sony Liv website (https://sonyliv.com ) at 8.30 p.m. (IST).