On Fifth day of FIFA World Cup 2018, Belgium will take on the central american team Panama at the Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi in Group G. The match will start at 08:30pm IST. It will be a historic match for Panama as it is their first game at the FIFA world stage, they are the newcomers in the tournament. Earlier in Sochi a match worth remembering was played when Portugal evened the game against Spain in the nail-biting, seat grabbing match where the two teams draw the match to 3-3. It was also a match where the Portugal star Ronaldo scored his hat-trick in the match making the first hat-trick scored by a player in the FIFA 2018.
Under Coach Roberto Martinez’s Red Devils topped their qualification group to enter the FIFA 2018 Russia. They have set a record by being undefeated in the selection matches with a record 19 undefeated matches under their wing. The team which makes the Red Devils are already considered as a ‘golden generation’ and a lot is expected from the players who will enter in the ground to prove it and will try to continue their unbeaten record in the FIFA 2018. Despite the 1st easy considered match against Panama the Belgium will face their toughest final group match against England in Kaliningrad on June 28 so they would want to gain the upper hand in the points table by defeating Panama tonight. They are among the favourites to go far at the World Cup.
The Central Americans are making their World Cup debut with the match and they also have lost to Denmark, Switzerland and Norway in their warm-up matches. This will be the first ever encounter between Belgium and Panama. In the CONCACAF qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, no Panama player scored more than two goals (Gabriel and Roman Torres). Panama made it to Russia with a negative goal difference (-1), winning only three of their 10 games in the last round of CONCACAF qualifying. So the fans would not expect much from their first appearance for the world stage. As their journey to Russia was not something to write stories about but they might turn out to be underdogs and draw the match with the Red Devils.
Prediction would be more in the favour of Belgium winning the game with 2-0 score against Panama. Numbers speak for themselves and seeing the unbeaten record of 19 matches for Belgium and 3 match win out of 10 for Panama it is hardly a fair matchup. If the Central Americans wish to draw the match and not get eliminated in the early stages they would have to watch out for the attacks by the Red Devils and keep their defense strong while attacking continuously.
Belgium Squad: Lukaku, Hazard, Mertens, Carrasco, Witsel, De Bruyne, Meunier, Vertonghen, Boyata, Alderweireld, Courtois
Panama Squad: G. Torres, Barcenas, Avila, Godoy, Gomez, Ovalle, Murillo, Escobar, R. Torres, Machado, Penedo