CONCACAF Gold Cup Group A: Panama face USA, Haiti meet Honduras
The race is on to clinch second spot in CONCACAF Gold Cup Group A, with Haiti, Honduras and Panama all still firmly in the mix to snatch automatic qualification, though hosts the USA have already ensured safe passage to the knock-out rounds after securing top spot. Who else will join them?
Panama v USA
The Stars and Stripes could be tempted to rotate against Panama after safely finishing first, but Jurgen Klinsmann’s men have come under increasing criticism for poor performances, despite taking two wins from two tussles so far, so could instead look to keep consistency.
Panama currently sit second, but are only one point ahead of rivals Haiti and Honduras, both on one apiece, so this duel should be far from a dead rubber. As the USA have shown to be easily flustered in the Gold Cup, punters can back the Red Tide at 4/1 to take all three points, or 11/4 to split the spoils.
Team USA may still be finding their match rhythm, but an impressive record of 12 wins and two draws from 15 battles with the Canal Men means Klinsmann and co are understandably odds-on at 4/6 to win and continue their perfect pool record. Coral’s marvellous match special for the Stars and Stripes to triumph and both teams to score at 3/1 looks superb value, as these two teams are yet to draw blanks in the tournament.
For the USA, cult hero and former Tottenham and Fulham forward Clint Dempsey has been the leading man in front of home fans, netting all three of their strikes so far. Back the Seattle Sounders sharpshooter at 7/2 to put club woes behind him once more and draw first blood again, while Stars and Stripes skipper and ex-Aston Villa midfielder Michael Bradley is 11/4 in the anytime market.
For Panama, previous goalscorers Luis Tejada, a prolific poacher with 32 in 74 caps for the Red Tide, and attacking midfielder Alberto Quintero are 9/1 and 16/1 to net first and last respectively.
Haiti v Honduras
Both Haiti and Honduras have recorded a draw and a loss in Gold Cup Group A, making this clash a must-win if either is to progress, while they must hope the USA can slay second placed Panama.
With their fate depending on results elsewhere, both should be going for the jugular as qualification could well come down to goal difference, though a draw appears the most likely result at 5/2.
Central American side Honduras hold the head-to-head advantage with 12 triumphs to four and are odds-on favourites at 4/5 for victory. Having seen how Los Catrachos can dig their heels in at the 2014 World Cup, the tenacious team are also 8/5 to win to nil, while Anderlecht wingman and last scorer Andy Najar is 7/4 to net again anytime.
Caribbean country Haiti, meanwhile, are 7/2 to snatch a surprise scalp but could struggle, having only racked up one Gold Cup goal so far. Their attack needs a spark, which France-based forward Duckens Nazon is 11/4 to provide anytime, while Wisla Krakow wideman Wilde Donald Guerrier is a tempting 10/3 in the same market.
Coral’s betting tip: back dangerman Dempsey at 7/2 to strike first and continue his prolific Gold Cup purple patch.