Tunisia v England Preview, Stats and Betting Tips, Monday 18 June, Volgograd Arena, Kick off: 19:00

World Cup fever has taken hold of football fans through England. The first few days of the tournament have provided some wonderful matches but, like the fans, the England players have so far had to be content with watching the action. It’s all change on Monday though as the Three Lions get their 2018 World Cup campaign underway with a match against Tunisia at the Volgograd Arena.

Tunisia v England Offers and Enhanced Odds

England 50/1 Betfair Offer 50/1 Beat Tunisia

  • Betfair – 50/1 England to beat Tunisia – New Customers can get England at an enhanced 50/1 to beat Tunisia. Max Stake £1. Winnings paid in free bets, valid for 7 days, only deposits with cards/Paypal count. Exchange and multiple bets excluded. T&C’s Apply. 18+|Gamble Aware.
  • Coral – 33/1 England to beat Tunisia – UK+IRE New Customers Only. Winning bets paid in cash based on the normal price on the Coral website. Enhanced odds paid in free bets. Free bets valid for 4 days. Losing £5 free bet excludes Coral Connect.
  • Ladbrokes – 28/1 for England to score in the game – 18+. New UK+IRE players only. Time limited. Use “ENGLAND”. Certain deposit types and cash out excluded. Min deposit £5. First bet £1. Winning bets paid in cash at normal price. Enhanced odds paid in £5 free bets credited within 24 hours, valid for 4 days, stake not returned. Losing £5 free bet excludes Grid customers. T&Cs Apply.

Tunisia v England Betting Tips

Tunisia v England Preview

This is Tunisia’s fifth World Cup campaign but their first in 12 years. The Carthage Eagles’ first four World Cups have yielded just the one win and that came all the way back in 1978. In each of their most recent three appearances, Tunisia drew one and lost two of their three group stage matches and this current team will do well to avoid defeat against England and Belgium.

Nabil Maaloul is a wily manager who believes he can get the best out of his players but he must doubt whether he has enough raw talent to work with. Wahbi Khazri and Naim Sliti are tricky options out wide but attempts by to strengthen the talent pool by registering new players have largely failed.

By contrast, England’s pool of talent is impressively deep. Experienced internationals Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere have been left at home as Southgate has taken a deliberate decision to concentrate on fresh, young talent. The England manager has admitted that teams with such a lack of experience rarely get to the latter stages of the World Cup but there are few areas of his squad selection that fans are upset with.

Perhaps the main issue England have is a lack of ball players in the middle of the pitch. Southgate wants his team to focus on their pace and power on the counterattack when facing better opposition but there is a danger they’ll find creating chances difficult against teams like Tunisia who are happy to sit back and soak up pressure.

It will be interesting to see whether Southgate starts with the tactics and team selection that he hopes to employ in the knockout rounds or if he goes for a more attacking approach given the gulf in quality between England and Tunisia. Either way, you’d have to think that the Three Lions are worthy of their billing as odds-on favourites.

Relevant Stats, Injuries and Suspensions

England have only played Tunisia twice before. The first meeting came in Tunisia in June 1990 when the two sides shared a goal apiece in a pretty uninspiring draw. The second meeting, eight years later, had much more on the line. Alan Shearer and Paul Scholes got the goals that secured a 2-0 win and the three points for England in the group stage of the 1998 World Cup in France.

The FIFA rankings had Tunisia as the best African team to win a place at the World Cup. Those who saw the Carthage Eagles struggle through qualification will have something to say about those rankings. It took a 0-0 draw against Libya for Tunisia to book their place in Russia whereas England had very few problems in their unbeaten qualifying campaign.

The main injury blow for England came when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was ruled out of the World Cup due to a knee ligament injury. The World Cup also came a little too soon for Adam Lallana. The only real injury concern for Southgate in Russia is Marcus Rashford who picked up a knock in training.

Tunisia’s chances of making an impact in Russia were dealt a blow by the injury suffered to Youssef Msakni. Like Oxlade-Chamberlain, Msakni suffered a knee ligament injury to rob Tunisia of one of their most exciting players while their main striker, Taha Yassine Khenissi, will also miss out.

Tunisia v England Tips

England are available at a general 2/5 to win on Monday. That’s probably a fair reflection of their chances of beating this Tunisia side but it’s hardly the most exciting bet of the tournament. To try and secure a larger return from your betting, it could well be worth taking the 21/20 that BetVictor are quoting on England winning to nil instead. Southgate is confident that his players have enough about them to break through any stubborn resistance offered by Tunisia but he’ll equally be keen for his players to remember their defensive duties so an England win and clean sheet is highly possible.

Of the first goalscorer options, Raheem Sterling represents the best betting value at 7/2 with Coral. Southgate has the Man City forward playing almost through the middle alongside Harry Kane. He’ll get chances against Tunisia and could even be worth backing to be England’s top goalscorer in Russia at 6/1 with BetVictor.