Thursday, October 19, 2017

Prediction: USA vs Jamaica

SoccerPredictions in Free Soccer Predictions 26 Jul 2017

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Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 8/15

Bookmaker: Bet365

United States of America lock horns with Jamaica in the Gold Cup final looking for a revenge for the defeat in the semifinals of the same competition two years ago. Unlikely finalists Jamaica will be pressure-free heading into the final showpiece which is more of a reason to fear them.

USA

Four years after they won the biennial CONCACAF tournament, the USA side will have another pop at the Gold Cup trophy. Having suffered a semifinal disappointment at the hands of Jamaica at the last edition of the tournament, the United States are keen to make amends and get their revenge on the Reggae Boyz. The USMNT are enjoying fine form at the tournament despite an early 1-1 hiccup against Panama at the start of the competition. Four consecutive triumphs, however, have been a major morale boost for Bruce Arena’s men who are heading into the final buoyed by three clean sheets in last three matches. United States have booked their place in the final thanks to a 2-0 win over Costa Rica with Clint Dempsey getting on the verge of becoming the Yanks’ all-time leading goal scorer. Dempsey came off the bench to help his team seal the win over Costa Rica and is likely to be given another super-sub role in the final. On the other side, Bruce Arena’s tactics have been difficult to anticipate since January and the US head coach could very easily opt to go with experienced Dempsey from the start but in a more dropped-back position.

Team News

Juan Agudelo is pushing for a starting berth and could be given a chance from the off against Jamaica.

Jozy Altidore will once again start upfront whereas Morris could be deployed at left wing, with Arriola on the opposite side of the front three.

Jamaica

Jamaica have made it to the Gold Cup finals for the second consecutive time. Having made a knock on the door of the final two years ago, the Reggae Boyz have now surprisingly made it to the showpiece event after a surprising 1-0 win over favoured Mexico in the semifinal. The Jamaicans put in an organized displayed against a more illustrious opponent and used their athleticism and physical dominance to dispatch El Tri and deny them a chance to fight for glory. Jamaica backline consisting of Lawrence, Jermaine Taylor, Damion Lowe and Alvas Powell has been fantastic at holding the shape and not giving in against Mexican pressure, whereas a disciplined display upfront allowed Reggae Boys to move one step forward compared to their last appearance at the tournament. Theodore Whitmore’s men are keen to make history against the United States after becoming the first team other than Mexico or their next rivals to reach successive finals.

Team News

Whitmore is unlikely to ring any changes to his team that beat Mexico in the semifinal.

Central midfielder Kevon Lambert is returning to the starting line-up after missing the Mexico game through suspension and will be a big boost to the Jamaican side.

Key Factors to Consider

  • USA are unbeaten under Bruce Arena in 13 matches thus far
  • The US are playing their 10th Gold Cup final
  • Jamaica allowed only two goals in 5 matches of the tournament
  • USA kept clean sheets in their last three matches in the competition
  • Clint Dempsey could become US all-time leading goal scorer vs Jamaica

Conclusion

United States of America have been slapped with a favourites’ tag ahead of the Gold Cup final, but Bruce Arena knows better than to underestimate Jamaica. Defensively organized and with an in-form shot stopper Andre Blake between the sticks, the Reggae Boyz will be no pushovers and should be expected to give the American a run for their money.

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 8/15

Bookmaker: Bet365

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