World Cup Preview: England v Panama

Who? England - Panama
Where? Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod
When? June 24, 14:00 (CET local time)

England

It was a matter of a few seconds between England and opening the World Cup with an upset. The game against Tunisia, even though they eventually managed to win, was not one of their best games and England would like to recover against Panama.

If you will read some of the comments in England, you will find a new name that becomes the talented player to be pumped by the press. Harry Maguire, Leicester City's defender is that guy. His work against Tunisia was impressive, but in England you don't need too much time in order to be the hero that will save the nation's day.

In the game against Panama, England will face an interesting challenge, as they will try to win their second consecutive match for the first time since 2006 World Cup. At the last World Cup, England managed to have only one win out of seven matches. Another unbelievable record will be the fact that England didn't manage to win twice at the World Cup group stage since 1998.

In this situation, England cannot afford themselves a failure against Panama. With six points in the first two matches, England could take a deep breath and feel more comfortable for the next stages.

 Harry Maguire, got some headlines in the last days (Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Harry Maguire, got some headlines in the last days (Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Panama

Nobody thought that Panama can be a strong opponent to Belgium. Even though they managed to keep a clean sheet during the first half and didn't fail completely until Lukaku's brace, the final score didn't surprised anyone.

Now everyone looks on Hernán Darío Gómez. The veteran Colombian coach faces England once again in the World Cup. In 1998, Gómez was Colombia's head coach while Los Cafeteros lost 0:2 to England, while Darren Anderton and David Beckham led England to the next stage.

The beginning for Panama was hard, but now, after they felt once what it means to play a World Cup game, they may be less stressed or excited. The tears of joy that has been seen during the national anthem in the previous match will disappear and Gómez will need to guide his players to an optimistic moment.

Although Panama is considered as the weakest team in the World Cup, they can't afford another bad result. They want to show to the world that they are still can to be competitive, even against strong team like England. If Tunisia managed to be until the additional time equaled, why wouldn't Panama do the same?

 Hernán Darío Gómez in 1998, have some memories from England (Reuters)

Hernán Darío Gómez in 1998, have some memories from England (Reuters)

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