In a bid to start their World Cup 2018 campaign with a solid win and to settle nerves, Belgium will kick off their campaign against debutants Panama on Monday. Roberto Martinez can’t wait to lead an outstanding Belgium side into the World Cup but they will be without defensive stalwarts Thomas Vermaelen and Vincent Kompany. A team who sit third in the FIFA rankings and who boast what is frequently labelled a golden generation featuring the likes of Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne have come to Russia with a considerable weight of expectation on their shoulders. (Live Score: Belgium vs Panama)

Belgium are strongly fancied to progress to the knockout phase as winners of Group G, despite being drawn alongside England, and so it would be a major upset if they slipped up in Sochi against a side making their World Cup debut. Belgium’s results under Martinez have been excellent, with last Monday’s 4-1 friendly win over Costa Rica in Brussels meaning they are unbeaten in 19 matches going back almost two years, to the very start of the Roberto Martinez’s reign. The prospect of facing England in Kaliningrad on June 28 is a mouthwatering one.

Live Updates of 2018 FIFA World Cup, Belgium vs Panama, straight from Fisht Stadium

19:40 IST: So, Group F after one round of fixtures

19:35 IST: Here is the starting XI for Belgium and Panama

19:33 IST: Meanwhile, in Sochi

19:31 IST: In the earlier match of the day, Sweden beat South Korea 1-0 at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.

19:30 IST: Hello and welcome to the live blog of the match between Belgium and Panama straight from Fisht Stadium

All going to plan for these sides, first place will be up for grabs. Then there are Martinez’s past links to the Premier League and the presence of Thierry Henry and Englishman Graeme Jones on his coaching staff. The majority of his squad either play or have played in England, but for now, Martinez is only thinking about Panama.





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