World Cup Finals Group G Predictions by Dan Smith
Danny Welbeck is Arsenal’s only representative in this one…..
Looking at their squad on paper it’s understandable why some say Belgium can go all the way.
The game of course is not played on paper. if this side has the mentally when it counts is another story. In that regard, they remind me of England’s so called golden generation. While they have got to the quarter finals in their last few tournaments, they have yet to have that decisive moment against a big name to suggest they can go to that next level. The Euros was a big opportunity missed, they were beating Wales away from a major semi final. Doubts remain in the key moments of games if they have the game management to be serious contenders.
I promised myself after Euro 2016 never to take anything for granted again. There is no point in wrapping up our young team in cotton wool, the reality is this draw has been so kind that even if we were below par we should qualify. Anything else would be up there with the Iceland humiliation. Expectation is so low that success would be enjoying watching England again. It’s been a few tournaments now since we were a joy to watch. The way this draw has fallen makes it not impossible for Gareth Southgate to do that. We play Belgium when qualification might be secure and looking at who we would face next, it doesn’t seem vital that we top the group.
One of Africa’s most improved sides with many predicting they would be the regions best bet of getting the furthest in the World Cup. That was ’til the draw was made. Most of their players are based in their own league but the fact they start the competition ranked 14th in the world shows what an organised outfit they have become. If England take them lightly they could take points off them while Panama gives them the golden chance to earn their first World Cup win since 1978.
A country half the size of London, and the first time they ever reached the World Cup, the highest level their players play is the MLS and a nation more famous for hosting the 3rd season of Prison Break then any kind of footballing landmark. No wonder the USA are having a nationwide review of how they finished below a side who they dwarf in terms of resources, and I am sure that followers of sports gambling in the United States will see an upsurge in bets on their tiny neighbour. Qualifying led to a public holiday in Panama such was the lack of expectations. They’re riding a wave of momentum where anything else would be a bonus, in that regard the pressure is off. Any other chapter would be the shock of the tournament.