The last of the Gold Cup groups gets underway on Tuesday night when the main hosts of the tournament USA get their title defence started on a night where there will be plenty of scrutiny on them after an indifferent recent run.
We’ve seen some good quality football in the tournament to date and plenty more is expected over the course of Tuesday evening as a competitive group sees the opening round of fixtures played out in Minnesota.
Panama vs Trinidad & Tobago (00.30)
The first of the two matches on Tuesday evening is the one which will interest us the most as it sees our tournament outright pick Panama begin their campaign against a Trinidad and Tobago side who showed their capabilities when dumping USA out of World Cup qualifying last year.
Panama made it through to the World Cup courtesy of that result but I don’t think they will be out to do T&T any favours here that is for sure. Trinidad and Tobago are full of MLS players but they go into this match without a goal in their last five outings and in truth few of them have been against top class opposition. It is right to point out that Panama aren’t in the best form either going purely on results but they have mixed it with Uruguay, Colombia and Brazil in recent times so you wouldn’t expect them to win those matches.
They will have toughened them up though and if Panama can find a goal they might well have enough to get the job done here. I’m a little surprised Panama are so big here. They are clearly the better side of the two and at 5/6 I’m happy to back them to show that.
USA vs Guyana (03.00)
The big match of the night without a doubt comes second where all eyes will be on the USA to see what sort of a start they can get off to, with plenty of people sharpening the knives in anticipation of a spectacular fall. They take on a Guyana side who have a lot of English based players in their ranks but many of whom are part-time.
The draw has gone nicely for USA here you would have to say. They need a comfortable outing to gain some confidence and a foothold in the tournament because their recent run has been so bad dire barely covers it. I don’t like their squad one bit but more on that later in the event. I hope Guyana put USA under pressure as I want to see what they are like but the fact the Asian lines here are 4.5 in the States’ favour suggests which way the result will go. I’ve no plan to take America on that line but I fear a tiring Guyana side could have us sweating late on if we team with them. I’ll sit this out but be a very interested observer.
WON – Back Panama to beat Trinidad & Tobago for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with Betway