Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Prediction: USA vs Brazil

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 11 Jun 2024

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Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 11/25

Bookmaker: ZetBet

The USA will wrap up their preparations for hosting the 2024 Copa America by welcoming South American heavyweights Brazil to Camping World Stadium in Florida on Thursday.

This encounter marks the first meeting between the two nations since September 2018, when the Selecao secured a 2-0 friendly victory with goals from Roberto Firmino and Neymar.

USA

Gregg Berhalter began his tenure as USA head coach positively after taking over in August 2023, leading his team to victory in four of his first five matches and netting 15 goals in the process.

However, the Stars and Stripes have experienced a downturn, losing three of their last five games across all competitions. Their preparations for hosting the 2024 Copa America were dealt a severe blow with a 5-1 friendly defeat to Colombia last weekend.

Trailing by two goals at halftime, Timothy Weah scored his sixth international goal just before the hour mark to narrow the deficit, but the USA conceded three more goals in the final 15 minutes, leading to a comprehensive loss at Commanders Field in Maryland.

This marked the first time since 2009 that the USA conceded five goals in a home match. Berhalter criticized his players for “lacking respect” towards Colombia, describing the defeat as a “wake-up call” rather than a “lesson learned.”

Ranked 11th globally by FIFA, the USA have one final match to address their issues before their opening Copa America group-stage game against Bolivia on June 23. However, achieving success on Thursday will be challenging against a Brazil team they have failed to beat in their last 11 encounters.

Team News

Berhalter fielded a starting lineup consisting entirely of players from Europe’s top-five leagues and is likely to select another strong side on Thursday, though some changes are anticipated.

Celtic’s Cameron Carter-Vickers may be brought back into central defence, possibly replacing either Chris Richards or Tim Ream. Tyler Adams, who had a frustrating, injury-plagued 2023/24 season at Bournemouth, aims to gain playing time and might replace Johnny Cardoso in midfield.

Christian Pulisic, needing just two more goals to move into fifth place on the USA’s all-time top scorer list, is expected to continue on the left wing. Meanwhile, Ricardo Pepi, Haji Wright, and Brenden Aaronson are among the attackers vying for a return to the starting lineup.

Brazil

After a disappointing end to 2023 with three consecutive defeats in 2026 World Cup qualifying, Brazil started 2024 on a positive note under new head coach Dorival Junior, securing two wins and a draw from his first three matches.

Following a 1-0 friendly victory over England in March and a 3-3 draw with Spain shortly after, Brazil edged out Mexico in a thrilling 3-2 match at Kyle Field in Texas last Sunday.

Despite losing a two-goal lead in the final 20 minutes due to an own goal by Yan Couto and a 92nd-minute equalizer from Mexico’s Guillermo Martinez, Brazil clinched victory when teenage sensation Endrick, coming off the bench, headed home the winning goal in the 96th minute.

The last-minute connection between Endrick and fellow substitute Vinicius Junior provided Real Madrid fans with a glimpse of their future attacking ranks. However, Dorival Junior has urged caution regarding expectations for Endrick, emphasizing the need to protect the 17-year-old’s “essence.”

Currently fifth in FIFA’s rankings, Brazil aim to cap their Copa America preparations with a victory over a USA side they have defeated in each of their last seven 90-minute encounters, with a cumulative score of 22-5.

Team News

Real Madrid duo Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo are in line for a recall after being benched last weekend, following a brief rest after Real Madrid’s Champions League final victory.

Andreas Pereira, who recently netted his first international goal, hopes to keep his place in midfield. However, competition from Lucas Paquetá, Bruno Guimarães, and João Gomes may see changes in the starting lineup.

Centre-back pair Marquinhos and Gabriel Magalhaes are expected to play a role after being unused substitutes in the previous game, while Danilo and Wendell could return to their full-back positions.

Conclusion

Berhalter will undoubtedly seek a strong response from his players after last weekend’s disappointing outcome, but they will enter Thursday’s match against five-time world champions Brazil as underdogs, even if the South American giants choose to rest some key players.

Brazil’s defence has shown some vulnerability under Dorival’s tenure, offering a glimmer of hope for the USA. However, it’s likely that the Selecao will still outscore their opponents and head into the 2024 Copa America on a positive note.

Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 11/25

Bookmaker: ZetBet

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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