Will the football finally return home this year? England are not among the favourites to win the tournament, but they will certainly fancy themselves to book a place in the last-16.
The Three Lions will compete with formidable Belgium for the top spot in Group G. Tunisia and Panama are remaining nations in the group.
We take a look at four sides and their hopes of qualifying from Group G
The Belgian squad is brimming with talent, but they have underperformed in recent tournaments. In 2014 Brazil, the Red Devils won all of their group games to top their group. In the last-16, they claimed an extra-time win over the United States but lost 1-0 to Argentina in quarterfinals.
Belgium were quite impressive in the qualifying campaign and won their group without losing a game. There are huge expectations on them this year, and any finish before semi-finals would be termed as a disappointment. The Belgium side has enough talent to go a long way in the tournament, but the question is whether head-coach Roberto Martinez can bring out the best of this group in a major tournament.
Belgium are favourites to win the group at 16/19 odds. They are very likely to qualify to the last-16 at 1/10 odds.
England embarrassingly bowed out in the group stage at Brazil 2014. They find themselves in a much easier group this time, and they shouldn’t face many difficulties in progressing into the last-16. However, the English side has been famously disappointing in recent tournaments, including their recent last-16 exit to Iceland in Euro2016.
The Three Lions were impressive in the qualifying campaign and topped their group without losing a game, as can be seen on soccer-blogger.com. Even with recent disappointments in tournaments, Gareth Southgate’s men will have the backing of their entire nation in Russia. The English side doesn’t lack in talent, and the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Raheem Sterling are capable of winning games on their own. The likes of Joe Hart and Wayne Rooney won’t be wearing the England jersey in this World Cup.
The Three Lions are available at 13/8 odds to win the group and at 1/6 odds to qualify.
Panama are making their first appearance at World Cup. It’s a huge occasion for the nation, but we expect them to concede a lot of goals against big boys. It was very close for the Central American nation in the qualifying campaign as they finished ahead of Honduras due to a better goal difference.
There are no famous names in the Panama squad as the majority of the team play in American leagues, including MLS. Panama are favourites to finish last in their group at 8/13 odds.
Tunisia have qualified for World Cup following a gap of eight years. Overall, they are making their fifth appearance in the football’s biggest tournament. However, they have never managed to make it past the group stage, and their only win in the tournament came in 1978. The Eagles of Carthage were given a tough challenge by DR Congo in their final qualifying group, but they managed to finish a point above their opponents.
The Tunisian side consists of some decent Ligue 1 players. Leicester City defender Yohan Benalouane is the only player in the squad who plays in one of big four European leagues.
The African nation are available at 11/2 odds to qualify and at 1/5 odds to crash out in the group stage.
Belgium and England to qualify.
Panama to finish bottom of the group.