Saturday, July 31, 2021

Prediction: Martinique vs USA

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 14 Jul 2021

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Verdict: Total goals under 3.5

Best odds: 41/50

Bookmaker: Unibet

Martinique and the USA are set to face each other in the second round of Group B at the CONCACAF Gold Cup at the Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas, United States, on Thursday evening (a couple of hours past midnight in Europe). The other match of the round will see Canada take on Haiti.

Martinique

Martinique ended their involvement in the previous two editions of the Gold Cup in third place in their group, finishing behind the USA and Panama in 2017, and behind Mexico and Canada in 2019.

Since then, they managed to qualify for the CONCACAF Nations League and having faced Honduras and Trinidad and Tobago (twice each), they finished second in Group C.

This tournament didn’t start very well for Mario Bocaly’s team, despite taking an early lead against Canada in the opening round through Emmanuel Riviere. The opposition struck back in full force as Cyle Larin, Jonathan Osorio, Stephen Eustaquio and Theo Corbeanu all scored to earn the Canadians the top spot in the group for now.

Martinique’s last six competitive matches stretch back over a period of two years, so the results can hardly be a true reflection of form. The run includes their final match of the 2019 edition of the Gold Cup, which they lost 3-2 to Mexico, the four matches in the CONCACAF Nations League; 1-1 and 2-2 against Trinidad and Tobago, as well as 0-1 and 1-1 against Honduras, and of course, the 4-1 defeat to Canada a few days ago.

Team News

Bocaly doesn’t really have too many options at his disposal, despite the fact that he has no injury issues in his squad at the moment. His biggest problem is that a number of players struggled greatly against superior opposition in the opening round, and their only hope for this clash will be that Riviere pulls something out of his hat again.

USA

The United States are undoubtedly one of the favourites to win the tournament, not only due to the fact that their hosting it, but also for their quality. Only the trophy holders Mexico have won it more times (11) than the USA (6), and the team led by Gregg Berhalter will be eager to snatch it back from their fiercest rivals. 

The USA beat Haiti in the opening round by 1-0, courtesy of an eighth-minute header from Sam Vines. It was far from an easy match as Berhalter went with a rather inexperienced lineup, but they got the job done despite their performance dropping as minutes went by. It was enough to book the three points, but only for second place in the group due to Canada’s far more convincing triumph over Martinique.

The last six matches the Americans have played include three friendlies – a 2-1 win over Northern Ireland back in March, a defeat to Switzerland by the same score at the end of May, and a 4-0 thrashing of Costa Rica ahead of this tournament. Meanwhile, it also includes the two matches which clinched the CONCACAF Nations League for them as they beat Honduras 1-0 in the semifinals and Mexico 3-2 in the final, as well as the win over Haiti in the opening round here.

Team News

Berhalter is likely to be without defender Reggie Cannon who suffered a hamstring problem ahead of the opening round and missed the Haiti match, as well as striker Paul Arriola who was subbed off after 14 minutes with a similar issue.

Meanwhile, Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic, Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie and Barcelona right-back Sergino Dest have all been left out of the squad for the competition to be ready for pre-season with their respective clubs.

Conclusion

Regardless of the notable absentees from their ranks, the USA are strong favourites to beat Martinique, with odds on their triumph extremely short. However, there shouldn’t be too many goals.

Verdict: Total goals under 3.5

Best odds: 41/50

Bookmaker: Unibet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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