Tunisia v England Preview

England open their World Cup campaign with an assignment against Tunisia on Monday evening in Volgograd and Gareth Southgate’s team can start Group G with a win.

After disappointing campaigns at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and Euro 2016 in France, England are in need of grabbing some early momentum in this tournament.

The draw has offered them a chance to achieve it. Belgium will prove a strong and tough test in the Group G finale, but by then its anticipated the Red Devils and England will be jostling for top spot, having burned off Tunisia and Panama.

The way the fixtures have worked out, Southgate and his team can alleviate some of the pressure of facing a hugely talented Belgian outfit by notching a pair of wins, that will have them secure in the last-16 before that contest in Kaliningrad.

England are firm favourites at 1.49 to win this opener and Southgate is tipped to unleash an attacking line-up.

Harry Kane is set to be joined up top by either Marcus Rashford or Raheem Sterling but, arguably, it will be the deployment of Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard in behind that pays the real dividends.

Both Alli and Lingard have proved capable of scoring goals and creating chances. That should be vital and this is a decent chance for England to go on the offensive.

Their play in the final warm-up games has won praise and similar efforts now could bring a rewarding win, with England 2.25 to win conceding a goal start to their African opponents.

Kane has been given the captain’s armband for the World Cup and little wonder. He is a world class goalscorer and the Tottenham man has an incredible knack of being in the right place at the right time.

England should dominate possession in this game, and that will allow the likes of Alli, Sterling and Lingard to get the ball into dangerous areas. Kane is 3.60 favorite to score the first goal.

The one drawback for Southgate will be if his three-man defence offers up chances to Tunisia. The pace of Naim Sliti could be a worry on the counter and the Dijon winger has an eye for goal. England must be wary of leaving themselves exposed.

Momentum is everything in a World Cup group stage, England will be acutely aware of that.

As a squad they’ve been eager not to build expectations and they can be rewarded with an opening win in Russia, with a 2-0 England win available at 6.00.