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Monday at the World Cup: Goals galore as Belgium take on Panama

| 18.06.2018

The start of the working week never felt so good with another three World Cup matches lined up later today.

England’s clash with Tunisia at 7pm is the highlight of day five in Russia. We’ve previewed that one here.

But there’s also the small matter of Sweden v South Korea and Belgium v Panama to get your teeth into on another bumper day of action.

The Ladbrokes News crew have previewed the day’s two opening games below…

Sweden v South Korea (1pm, ITV)

After Mexico shocked Germany yesterday, Sweden and South Korea will both be eyeing three points which could really open up Group H.

The Swedes are making their first appearance at a World Cup since reaching the last-16 in 2006. They saw off Italy in a play-off to qualify for Russia and are 21/20 to start with a win.

However, their previous tournament openers could provide a clue as to which way this match is heading. Blagut have drawn five of their last six WC opening matches. It’s 2/1 about the draw here.

South Korea qualified for Russia in comfortable fashion but have only won one of their last six matches. It’s 3/1 they pick up three points against Sweden.

There aren’t too many standout players to choose from between the two sides. So the quality of Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min could make all the difference.

The Spurs ace netted 18 times for club and country last season and is 13/5 Anytime. Marcus Berg has six goals in seven matches for Sweden and can be backed at 6/4 Anytime and 7/2 to Score First.

Belgium v Panama (4pm, BBC1)

Group G gets underway with a monumental mismatch as a star-studded Belgium side take on tournament debutants Panama.

Roberto Martinez’s men are unbeaten in 19 matches. They’ve made a habit of racking up big scorelines in that run too. They’re 2/11 for three points against 16/1 for their opponents.

It’s no secret that goals are the order of the day for the Belgians. The Red Devils have an envious array of firepower including Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Michy Batshuayi amongst others.

Lukaku is favourite to Score First at 12/5, with Chelsea star Hazard a 5/4 shot Anytime.

But what about the Panamanians? Well, The Canal Men have only scored once in their last five matches in all competitions, which doesn’t bode well for them this afternoon.

Ex-Colorado Rapids man Gabriel Torres is their biggest threat. The 29-year-old was a consistent scorer in qualifying and is 7/2 to upset the applecart with a goal Anytime.

Our traders also go 15/8 about Belgium and Over 3.5 Goals, while it’s 7/10 for Belgium to Win to Nil.

All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication



Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the UEA where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper. He supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Darts and Horse Racing are among his other favourite sports.