It’s been 28 years since the Three Lions returned home from the World Cup finals without their tails between their legs. Can they get it right this time? They are outsiders to win the tournament as a whole but they are in a group which they can win. The start on June 18 in Volgograd against African qualifiers Tunisia.
The two nations met before, once in a friendly prior to the 1990 World Cup finals in Italy where the match in Tunis finished in a 1 – 1 draw. The second time was in Marseille during the 1998 WC finals. England won that encounter 2 – 0 with current Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate featuring in the centre of the defence.
If you want the best England vs Tunisia betting, there is little value in the outright winner market for this match unless you believe in an upset. England are currently at best 2/5 but the draw at 43/10 can’t be ruled out. It’s England and their record in recent finals suggests there is some value to be had in that last bet.
Tunisia are as far out as 11/1 to produce a shock result, which reflects their results in 2017. The Eagles of Carthage lost to their three biggest opponents during the year which doesn’t bode well for the World Cup.
But where else can you the best value odds in the England vs Tunisia betting?
England vs Tunisia betting
Goals are usually at a premium in the opening group games for World Cup finals and only on three occasions since 1962 has England seen more than 2.5 goals in their opening match of the tournament.
The odds of seeing under 2.5 goals is 17/16 at the time of writing. If you want to bet on England vs Tunisia, it’s worth remembering the two nations have played twice before and there were two goals in each match.
In qualifying, only Iceland (16) scored fewer goals than England’s 18 in their 10 group games. England failed to score more than once in their last four games of 2017 but, they did not concede any goals in those matches either. Their run of games included draws with Germany and Brazil and looks more impressive than it sounds.
Tunisia conceded 8 goals in their 8 qualifying games. This has the hallmarks of a tight affair, with the African nation as England, averaging less than two goals per game. Six of their 11 games in 2017 featured 2 or fewer goals with only one side scoring in five of those matches.
Interestingly from England’s point of view, they may fare well in a low-scoring game. In those six matches, Tunisia won and drew once while losing four.
There is good value in the England vs Tunisia betting for this wager. England are favourites in the match outcome market, so the odds for England are surprisingly generous in the winning margin markets.
At the time of writing, England to win by 1 goal is 5/2 while to win by 2 goals is 3/1. Those will change the closer that we get to the tournament.
But this is England. South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014 showed that the ‘favourites’ tag does not sit comfortably on their shoulders; a winning margin of 1 goal by either nation is 9/4 with 2 goals at 11/4 at the time of writing.
When you get into the specifics of form, then this market opens significantly. England’s record in recent months is for tight matches with goals at a premium and Gareth Southgate will view this as a ‘must not lose’ fixture.
Nabil Maâloul will feel the same and view England as the weaker of the two European nations in the group. If Tunisia is to cause an upset and reach the knockout stage, they must take points from this match.
Nipping in for the current offer of a goalless draw at 23/2 shouldn’t be overlooked.
Whenever you bet on England, the first name to be mentioned is Harry Kane. The Tottenham striker netted 56 goals in 2017 making him Europe’s leading goalscorer. He’s showing similar prowess with England, scoring 12 goals in his 23 appearances at the time of writing.
This will be his first World Cup finals and Kane has a lot to prove. His performances at Euro 2016 were criticised as England flopped. For that reason, it is worth keeping an eye on him during the early stages of the England vs Tunisia betting. Any hint of poor form might see him drift in the markets.
Other players to keep an eye on are Marcus Rashford and Dele Alli. Both are in decent form for this club sides – Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur respectively – this season. For England, they are crucial when Kane finds himself tightly marked, they are key attacking outlets for Southgate.
The duo must find their shooting boots if England are to progress. At Euro2016, England struggled when Kane was pushed to the fringes of games. It took Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge to provide the focus for the rest of the team. Rashford and Alli will be expected to deliver the same impact in Russia.
It is worth noting that Youssef Msakni with 14 goals in his 51 caps is the 9th highest-ever scorer for Tunisia. Wahbi Khazri, the Stade Rennais midfielder, has 11 goals for his country in 33 appearances.
While it may be the easy thing to do to bet on England players in this market, if you’re participating in World Cup betting you should never forget that their opponents are here on merit.
Bet on England vs Tunisia – Match Prediction
Even though the opening games in group stages can be tight affairs, England should prevail in Volgograd. Tunisia, ranked 23rd in the world by FIFA, are only seven places lower than their opponents but having held Brazil and Germany to goalless draws in their last two matches, England should feel confident that they are solid enough defensively to keep a clean sheet.
If they keep the supply line flowing to Harry Kane, they should do well in this fixture. That’s reflected in the England vs Tunisia betting and currently offered at odds of 27/5, our prediction of England to win 2 – 0 has an attractive look.