Monday, October 23, 2017

Prediction: United States vs Panama

SoccerPredictions in Free Soccer Predictions 6 Jul 2017

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Verdict: Both teams to score – No

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: William Hill

United States head into the 2017 Gold Cup with experimental squad and the opening clash against very good Panama side will be a very good test for a number of newcomers. Los Canaleros, on the other hand, plan to take advantage of the opportunity that presented itself and attempt to record a rare win over USMNT.

United States

Having failed to impress at the previous edition of the tournament, when they were beaten by none other than Panama in a third-place play-off, United States were expected to name a strong side for the Gold Cup 2017. However, having the 2018 World Cup finals in mind, new boss Bruce Arena decided to leave all star players out of his squad and instead included a number of newcomers on the roster. It is fair to say that fans who had bought tickets for the tournament finals were quite disappointed by the squad selection, and this side could have problems mounting a serious title challenge. The good news is that the team have been on the uptrend since Bruce Arena took over from Jurgen Klinsmann, as they picked up eight points from last four World Cup qualifiers after losing the first two games. With just four games to go, USMNT occupy the final automatic qualifying berth, but they are just one point clear of next opponents Panama, who also hope to avoid the play-offs. USA will now attempt to gain psychological advantage over Los Canaleros by winning the Gold Cup clash, but that is not going to be an easy task.

Team News

The long list of key men who didn’t make the squad include Michael Bradley, Tim Howard, Christian Pulisic, Jozy Altidore, Bobby Wood and Clint Dempsey.

After switching his allegiance from Israel, midfielder Kenny Saief picked up a groin injury and he has been replaced with Chris Pontius.

Panama

Panama are without a doubt the most improved CONCACAF side in the last decade, and they have enjoyed plenty of success of late. Los Canaleros have yet to qualify for their first World Cup finals though, although they stand a decent chance of booking a ticket to Russia. Panama have impressed at recent Gold Cup tournaments, reaching the semi-finals in their last three appearances, finishing as runners up in 2005 and 2013. Their record at the 2015 Gold Cup was quite interesting as Panama reached the semis without winning a single game in regular time and they eventually pipped USMNT to the third-place finish, ending the tournament with a 0-5-1 record (90 mins). Los Canaleros enjoyed a bright start to the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, defeating Honduras on the road and sharing spoils with Mexico at home, but they have since been winless in four matches. Hernan Gomez’s men will now want to end a four-match winless run and place extra pressure on the USA ahead of their qualifier in October, but they are not without problems at the moment.

Team News

Captain Felipe Baloy misses out through injury, whereas experienced footballers Roman Torres, Adolfo Machado, Harold Cummings, Alberto Quintero, Blas Perez and Luis Tejada have all been overlooked.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Both teams scored in their last three meetings
  • Those three matches were winless after 90 minutes
  • USMNT had won six straight meetings with Panama prior to those games
  • USA won five of their eight meetings at Gold Cup finals (D1 L3)
  • Both sides missing a number of key men

Conclusion

With a number of key players missing for both sides, fans at the Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee are unlikely to witness a spectacle of football. We instead expect to see a tight game with chances few and far between.

Verdict: Both teams to score – No

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: William Hill

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