Panama vs Tunisia - Preview - World Cup 2018

Panama vs Tunisia - Preview - World Cup 2018

Africa’s highest ranked team will be looking to bow out in style when they come up against North American minnows, Panama. Tunisia showed some fight in both games against England and Belgium, but it wasn’t enough as they find themselves level with Panama with not a single point. Panama were a lot less frightening this tournament and lost both matches by a scoreline of three or more. This would obviously prove to be Panama’s most favourable fixture, but being Africa’s highest ranked nation, Tunisia will be no pushovers.

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FIFA World Cup
Panama vs Tunisia  
Group G 
Thursday 28 June  
Mordovia Arena    
20:00

To Win
Panama 32/10
Draw 26/10
Tunisia 8/10

Panama

Panama were thumped for the second time in two games last time out as England put six past them to deny the Panamanians a chance to battle it out in the knockout stages. Still, Panama were left with a joyful taste in their mouths, getting their first-ever World Cup goal, courtesy of a Felipe Baloy finish.

It brought out a buzz from the fans and the team looked more lively after that. Only time will tell whether or not that can spur them on to a solid performance against Tunisia. It will certainly be the first time we see Panama produce the goods in this World Cup tournament.

At the time of writing, Panama have conceded the most goals in the competition, letting in nine goals in two matches. For FIFA World Cup standards, that’s absolutely disgraceful. So far, Group G has been exciting to watch, but from Panama’s point of view, something needs to change immediately.

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Tunisia

Tunisia will play their hearts out for one last time at the FIFA World Cup as they prepare to take on Panama this Thursday. The Eagles of Carthage were thwarted late on in their opener against England and were then put to the sword against a rampant Belgium side.

We can argue the fact that had Tunisia been in a less competitive group, then they would’ve really fought all the way. But this is the World Cup, meaning there is no room for excuses, and they were simply not good enough.

Ferjani Sassi has been their star-performer to date, with his bursting runs from midfield proving to be the most lethal part of Tunisia’s game. Wahbi Khazri has also been another dangerman for the Africans, while Naim Sliti should return to the lineup and add those deft passes when his team go forward.

Probable line-ups:
Panama: 4-1-4-1
Penedo; Davis, Escobar, Torres, Machado; Gómez; Rodríguez, Godoy, Baloy, Bárcenas; Blas Pérez.

Tunisia: 4-5-1
Ben Mustapha; Bronn, S. Ben Youssef, Meriah, Maaloul; Skhiri, Sassi, Sliti, Badri, F. Ben Youssef; Khazri.

Prediction: Tunisia Win (8/10)
There hasn’t been many wins for African nations at the FIFA World Cup so far, but this one should be in the bag. Tunisia were much more impressive than Panama in both matches played so far and should humble the North Americans to a third consecutive defeat. At 8/10, that’s probably one of the best bets we’ve seen at the tournament so far.

Written by Jesse Nagel

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