World Cup predictions: Sweden vs. South Korea, Belgium vs. Panama, Tunisia vs. England
7:32 PM ET
- ESPN staff
Steve McManaman believes England must move on from 'dire' performances in previous World Cups in their opener against Tunisia.
We're onto day five, and we've very nearly completed the first round of group games.
Our experts took some lumps on Sunday -- as anyone would have -- with Mexico upsetting reigning champions Germany, and Switzerland pulling off a surprising draw with favourites Brazil.
None of our experts had either of those results but Steve Nicol was able to salvage the day by correctly predicting Serbia to beat Costa Rica and also nailing the exact scoreline for the 20-point bonus. It might not have been pretty but Nicol with 30 points was the winner from a Sunday that not many could have foreseen.
From Mexico's thrilling upset of Germany, to Aleksandar Kolarov's beautiful match-winning free kick for Serbia, to Switzerland's feisty tie with Brazil, Sunday did not disappoint. But what's in store for Monday?
First up we get to see Sweden and South Korea. It's another of those games where no one seems to know which way it's going to go. There are three predictions in favour of each team, and four that go for the draw. It certainly sounds like a tight affair.
That's not the case for the other two games, however.
Trendy pick Belgium enter the tournament with a match against Panama, the Central American nation's first-ever game at the World Cup. Everyone expects Belgium to win comfortably, by a minimum scoreline of 2-0. Paul Mariner, A le Moreno, Mauricio Pedroza, Miguel Pasquel and Ed Dove all back a resounding 3-0 victory.
Last, but by no means least, it's England against Tunisia. This time it's expected to be even more convincing, as not one of our pundits expects Tunisia to even score. Again, a minimum victory of 2-0 is predicted, including by ESPN FC's Mark Ogden and Africa correspondent Ed Dove. Surely it can't be that straightforward for England?
Check out how our pundits got on with their predictions for Sunday's games and remember to join the pundits' league in Match Predictor.
We've got our top talent on hand from England, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Australia and Africa -- many of whom will be based out in Russia for the tournament -- to analyse each and every one of the 64 matches.
We'll score our experts just as we do in the Match Predictor -- 10 points for correct result, with a bonus 20 points for getting the scoreline right too. Who will come out on top on Monday?
ESPN Experts panel:
ESPN FC: Mark Ogden, Raphael Honigstein, Shaka Hislop, Paul Mariner, Ale Moreno
ESPN Deportes: Mauricio Pedroza, Manu Martin
ESPN Mexico: Javier Trejo Garay, Miguel Pasquel
Kwese, Africa: Ed Dove