Paul Merson's World Cup predictions: How will England fare in opener?


With the World Cup in full swing, Paul Merson is here to give us his predictions for the opening round of group-stage fixtures.

There is just one group left to play now at Russia 2018, so see who the Magic Man has tipped to come out on top on Tuesday...

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4/1 with Sky Bet)

Colombia v Japan (Tuesday 1pm, Group H)

I quite like Colombia, I think they will do OK, and this is the group England are set to meet in the second round. So it all depends how that works out. But I think Colombia will win this one, they are a decent team, they came second behind Brazil in South American qualifying - which is a big thing over so many games - and that is why I am backing them to win this one.

PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (4/1 with Sky Bet)

Poland v Senegal (Tuesday 4pm, Group H)

Robert Lewandowski (L) celebrates scoring his side's third goal during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualification match between Poland and Kazakhstan
Image: Merson has tipped Poland striker Robert Lewandowski (left) to be a contender for top scorer in the tournament

Poland striker Robert Lewandowski is a massive price to get top goal scorer, but the only problem is he is probably just going to play four games. This is a hard game, though, so I am going to go for a 1-1 draw - this is another one of those games that neither side can afford to lose as they will probably then be out. So you take a draw here, beat Japan, take a draw against Colombia and then take it from there.

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PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (6/1 with Sky Bet)

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