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Who will win the England game?

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World Cup briefing Rival boss hails Lions’ spirit			
				 
   by Gavin Brown 
  Published

He stressed the importance of patience from his World Cup contenders. Panama are in Group G alongside Belgium, England and Tunisia.

The 11 players chosen by Gareth Southgate had never all started an worldwide together before - remarkably, it is the ninth consecutive World Cup in which that is the case for England.

It's time to deliver for a team featuring such exceptional talent.

If Hazard, De Bruyne and Lukaku are allowed space and time to create, it could get ugly quickly for Panama. Eden Hazard looks nearly unstoppable at present whilst Romelu Lukaku has scored 13 goals in his last nine global appearances.

There are issues in defence.

The one lingering bit of news for Belgium is whether Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen will be healthy enough to play.

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez was more effusive about his opponents. The Spaniard easily adapted to life in global management.

The World Cup has got off to a great start, with some very unpredictable results coming our way in Russian Federation.

The heat and humidity here in southern Russian Federation could help them, and Martinez is not underestimating the Central Americans.

Panama coach Hernan Dario Gomez isn't in the business of sugarcoating the truth before his team makes history by playing in its first World Cup. "It's pivotal. To be here at a World Cup". Now it is Panama's turn.

Both nations had their best performances on home soil but Russian Federation is only next-door-but-one as it borders neighbours Norway and North Korea - perhaps this will be their year?

Perhaps the biggest warning sign for the Panamanians is the fact Belgium smashed Costa Rica in their final warm-up friendly, putting four goals past El Ticos―who got lucky they didn't concede double that.

The Group G game in Sochi on Monday could be rather lopsided because Belgium, at least on paper, should be a contender for the title.

The 27-year-old attacking midfielder is fresh from winning the FA Cup with Chelsea, scoring the only goal in the final against Manchester United.

World champions Germany and Mexico are the other two teams in Group F.

A young squad will be taken to Russian Federation, so getting out of the group is as much as can realistically be hoped for.

"In his one v one situations he is as good as anyone in the world". But England was the brighter team in this game and deserved the three points.

The Swedes come to Russian Federation at the dawning of the "post-Zlatan" era, after their talismanic striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic retired from internationals after the last Euros.

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