18th of June 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
England start their 2018 World Cup journey on Monday in Volgograd where they will face African side Tunisia. The two teams have also met in the group stage of the 1998 World Cup and back then England won 2-0. Tunisia have qualified for the World Cup four times before, but they failed to reach the last two final tournaments. England have been present at the last five final tournaments but things never seemed to go to well for the Three Lions lately as they have not reached the quarter-finals since 2006.
Tunisia are returning to the World Cup after having missed the last two final tournaments and they are hoping to qualify from the group stage for the first time after four failed attempts. They have won just one of their twelve World Cup matches so far, and that was all the way back in 1978 when they defeated Mexico 3-1. They have not lost any of their qualification matches from the last group stage in Africa and they reached the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations last year. They have lost just one of their five friendly matches this year, and that was a 1-0 defeat against mighty Spain nine days ago.
England are hoping that their new generation of players can produce better results than the last ones, the Three Lions have not gone past the quarter-finals since 1990 and have not won the trophy since 1966. Manager Gareth Southgate has taken charge in the middle of the qualification campaign after Sam Allardyce was dismissed but he did well to lead the team to a first-place finish in their group with no defeats and just three goals conceded in ten matches. England are also unbeaten in this year's four friendly matches. Marcus Rashford is the only injury concern for Southgate, the Manchester United forward will probably be on the bench during Monday's match.
Tunisia: Hassen - Bronn, Meriah, S. Ben Youssef, Maaloul - Skhiri, Sassi - Badri, Khaoui, Sliti - F. Ben Youssef
England: Pickford - Walker, Stones, Maguire - Trippier, Henderson, Alli, Young - Lingard - Sterling, Kane
My prediction: England to win 1-0, Tunisia will make it difficult but the Three Lions will put them under enough pressure to crack at least once.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
England win - 10.00
Draw - 4.75
Tunisia win - 1.40
19th of June 2018
26th of June 2018
As always the expectations were huge for the English side and they started quite well I think despite the late winner in this match.
There were some good combinations between the English players and they surely should of assure themselves the lead earlier but in the end it was good enough performance for them at the start I think.
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