England vs Panama, World Cup 2018: What time is Sunday's game, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?

Marcus Rashford ands Jesse Lingard enjoy a shopping trip during an England rest day - JULIAN SIMMONDS
Marcus Rashford ands Jesse Lingard enjoy a shopping trip during an England rest day - JULIAN SIMMONDS

What is it?

England's second Group G match of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Gareth Southgate's side got off to a terrific start with a late 2-1 win over Tunisia, thanks to Harry Kane's double.

Now it's on to Panama, before their final group game against Belgium.

When is it?

Sunday, June 24, 2018. 

Where is it?

Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod.

What time is kick-off?

1pm BST.

World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game

What TV channel is it on?

The BBC and ITV are sharing the rights to this World Cup. You can watch this one on BBC.

Alternatively, you can follow all the action here with Telegraph Sport.

Latest team news


Gareth Southgate is considering dropping Raheem Sterling against Panama, judging by a note spotted at England training.

After the Three Lions sealed a last-gasp 2-1 win against Tunisia in Monday's World Cup opener, preparations are under way for Sunday's game in Nizhny Novgorod.

England's players returned from a recovery day with a full session on Thursday morning, when focus on Southgate after dislocated a shoulder running was usurped by a note carried by assistant manager Steve Holland.

Steve Holland, England Assistant Coach with notes training notes - Credit: JULIAN SIMMONDS
Steve Holland, England Assistant Coach, with notes training notes Credit: JULIAN SIMMONDS

It showed that the side are preparing to play in 3-5-2 formation against Panama, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek in midfield following Dele Alli's slight thigh strain - a player whose name was spelt 'Ali' on the sheet in the medical section. The Tottenham man missed the session because of the injury he picked up against Tunisia.

But the most noteworthy aspect of the pictured piece of paper was Marcus Rashford, rather than Sterling, playing in the attacking two alongside captain Harry Kane.

Sterling, 23, has had to put up with a lot in the build-up to Russia and struggled to make an impact against Tunisia, with Southgate making the Manchester City forward his first change when bringing on Rashford in the 68th minute.

England vs Tunisia Player ratings


The World Cup finals debutants have no injuries to report and Hernan Dario Gomez has a full-strength squad of relatively unknown but remarkably experienced players - the 24 men picked for the spring friendlies averaged 59 caps each - ready for Russia. 

What do we know about the Panama team?

In a country better known for its baseball players and boxing champions, football will muscle into their territory when Panama make a first trip to the World Cup.

The Central Americans aren't complete unknowns. Twice runners-up at the Concacaf Gold Cup, they qualified for the tournament in Russia by finishing ahead of the United States. That's despite the huge disparity between the countries: Panama has only 4 million people, while the US has about 320 million.

Tougher challenges loom for Panama in June when Belgium and England are among the team's opponents in Group G.

Roman Torres could be key to preventing Panama from leaking goals. The dreadlocked defender became a national hero after scoring the goal that clinched Panama's World Cup place, leading to a national holiday being declared.

Here's a closer look at the Panama team:


Gomez is known for working his magic. After guiding his homeland of Colombia to the 1998 World Cup, he led Ecuador to the tournament for the first time in 2002.

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Jaime Penedo, who started in goal in the last three qualifiers, helped the team finish second at the Concacaf Gold Cup in 2005 and in 2013, where he was named the best goalkeeper. But he has not been a regular starter recently at Dinamo Bucharest in Romania.


The 32-year-old Torres of the Seattle Sounders club is trying to get back into full shape after a knee injury. He is set be joined in central defense by Fidel Escobar and Adolfo Machado. They will likely be flanked by Michael Murillo on the right and Eric Davis on the left.

World Cup predictor


Gabriel Gomez and Anibal Godoy are expected to assume the defensive midfield roles. Alberto Quintero is likely to play on the left and Edgar Joel Barcenas could play on the right or in the center behind the striker to create more scoring chances.


Expect a sole striker for the Belgium and England games. Gomez will have to decide on 37-year-old Blas Perez or 29-year-old Gabriel Torres, who has had a successful season with Chilean club Huachipato. Luis Tejada, known as the "Matador" for his lethal finishing, is 36 and is another aging option.

What are they saying?

Panama coach Hernan Dario Gomez hopes his team is a "dignified rival":

"I hope people enjoy it instead of criticising and destroying the dream that we've achieved.

"We have played Wales, who are more or less the same style (as England). We also played against Iran, who are like Tunisia. We have knowledge of what we'll come up against.”

Latest Group G table

What are the odds?

  • England to win 1/5

  • Draw 4/1

  • Panama to win 12/1


What's our prediction?

To avoid embarrassing defeats at the World Cup, Panama have experimented with five defenders and they limited the damage in a friendly against Denmark in March to a 1-0 loss. England have often struggled to break defensive teams down, but once the first goal goes in, expect the floodgates to open. Predicted score: England 4 Panama 0.