England v Tunisia
Monday, 19:00
Live on BBC

England looking to set tone

There seem plenty of positives around the England camp ahead of their crunch opener against Tunisia in Volgograd.
Results in the build-up have been positive and, as trite as it sounds, since arriving in Russia they've been able to bond further over the cultural phenomena of Fortnite and Love Island.
England have had their best results in major tournaments when the camp has been engagedrather than bored and the open day ahead of the tournament appears to have got the media onside as well.
A slight knee injury to Marcus Rashford was a concern but the Manchester United forward, who was quite brilliant against Costa Rica, should be available if selected.
Right now, it appears as if Gareth Southgate will start with a front four of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard but Rashford is a great option to have.
Whether England have the class to go deep into the tournament remains questionable but they seem to be in a good place ahead of their first task and this is a golden chance to make an early statement of intent.

Tunisia could be tough to break down

It's not been a great start to the World Cup for the North African sides with Egypt and Morocco both losing their openers to late goals.
Morocco were considered the pick of the bunch from that region so to lose 1-0 to Iran was a hugely disappointing. Egypt and Morocco failed to find the scoresheet and that would be the concern of this Tunisian side.
They have their moments going forward but a 1-0 loss to Spain in their final warm-up game hinted at a side who could struggle to find goals when up against better defences.
England, who shut out Brazil and Germany in warm-up friendlies, can certainly lay claim to that. However, Tunisia won't be easy to break down themselves so it's fair to think that this isn't going to be goal-laden.

England heavily favoured although history not good

England have lost 2-1 Italy and been held 1-1 by the USA in their last two opening games at World Cups so a 1-0 home win over Paraguay via an early own goal in 2006 is the last time they've kicked off with a win.
It's just 1.44 that England bank three points while The Draw is 4.80Tunisia are are 9.80 to pull a surprise.

Unders has been landing in England games

Under 2.5 goals has been the outcome in seven of England's last eight games and, as Tunisia aren't Saudi Arabia, it's very easy to see it landing again.
The market expects it with Under 2.5 just 1.79. Overs is 2.22 for those looking for a more lively encounter.

Low scores appeal

It's worth remembering the 0-0 at 11.00 as England may have to stay patient.
In a seemingly similar match-up, Uruguay had to wait until very late to edge out Egypt so the stalemate seems a big price if England don't hit their stride in front of goal.
I think Southgate's men will have enough in the tank though so a repeat of 1998 when England beat Tunisia 2-0 in their opener looks very realistic. I'll back it at 6.60 and also 1-0at 6.00.
The 1-1 draw is 10.50.

Kane odds-on to get off the mark

England's chief marksman Harry Kane is 8/11 to hit the ground running with a goal which doesn't offer much value.
It's a similar case when you go down the line. Jamie Vardy, despite surely starting on the bench is 10/11 while Marcus Rashford is 6/5 and Raheem Sterling 6/4.
For Tunisia, Anice Badri has scored in two of their last three friendlies so looks an interesting option at 13/2.
Using the new Same Game Multi feature in the Sportsbook, the Kane first goalscorer and 2-0 England win can be combined to form a tasty 14.44.

Key Opta Stats for Tunisia v England

Tunisia and England’s last encounter was in the group stages of the 1998 World Cup. England won 2-0 in Marseille. The English are 1.44 to win.
England have never lost against an African team at the World Cup (W3 D3). The draw is 4.80.
Tunisia have qualified for their fifth World Cup, their first since 2006. They have never reached the knockout stages in their four previous appearances. Tunisia are 3.05 to finish rock bottom of Group G.
Tunisia won their first ever game at the World Cup on 2 June 1978 (3-1 v Mexico). Since then, they have failed to win any of their 11 subsequent games in the competition (D4 L7). The draw half-time/England full-time double result is 4.10.
Tunisia have also kept only one clean sheet in their 12 games at the World Cup (0-0 v West Germany in June 1978). Over 2.5 goals is 2.22.
Since winning their only World Cup in 1966, England have progressed past the quarter- finals only once, doing so in 1990 (4th place). England are 3.30 to be eliminated in the quarter-finals.
England have also topped their group only once in their last five appearances (2006). They are 2.12 to finish second in Group G.
England have won only one of their last eight games at the World Cup (D4 L3). You can lay England at 1.46.
11 of England’s 62 games at the World Cup have ended goalless, more than any other team in the history of the tournament. The 0-0 draw is 11.00.
England had the joint-best defensive record in the 2018 UEFA World Cup qualifiers alongside Spain, conceding three goals in 10 games. Under 2.5 goals is 1.79.


1pt England to win 1-0 at 6.00
1pt England to win 2-0 at 6.40

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