ROUND OF 16
17:00 LOC / 21:00 BST
Arena Fonte Nova
29/05/2013 USA 2-4 Belgium Friendly
06/09/2011 Belgium 1-0 USA Friendly
25/02/1998 Belgium 2-0 USA Friendly
22/04/1995 Belgium 1-0 USA Friendly
19/07/1930 USA 3-0 Belgium World Cup
Weather: Sun & 74% humidity
Travel: Two hour & fifteen minute flight (Belgium) & One hour flight (USA)
Distance: 1453km (Belgium) & 646km (USA)
• They have big problems at the back, with just 4/8 defenders definitely fit enough to start this one.
• Kompany and Vermaelen on specialist training programs, with the former likely to play through pain.
• After resting 6 players in the 1-0 win over South Korea energy will be good, along with motivation.
Unavailable Doubtful Returning
Defour – CM – Suspension
Vanden Borre – RB/LB – Injury
Kompany – CB – 50%
Vermaelen – CB/LB – 30%
Ciman – CB – 10%
• Altidore race against time to recover, unlikely to be 100% and so starting berth looks unlikely.
• Jones broken nose but cleared to play, Bedoya also declared fit.
• USA remain confident despite scare in final group game.
Unavailable Doubtful Returning
None Altidore – ST – 40% Altidore – ST – Injury
Jones – CM – 90%
Bedoya – AM – 60%
Betting Preview: Belgium (13) v USA (11)
Belgium won their group with a 100% record but they weren’t overly impressive in doing so as they won all three matches against poor teams by single goal margins. The USA, meanwhile, qualified out of a very tough group and put in good team performances in every game.
Belgium conceded just one goal in their group matches and it has certainly been their defence that has impressed most. Romelu Lukaku is yet to score while Eden Hazard has failed to place his stamp on any of the matches so far. Nevertheless they have now won 10 of their last 11 competitive matches, with seven wins to nil, and they’ve scored in 22 consecutive games. In terms of goals it is no surprise to see that none of Belgium’s last 13 competitive matches have had more than three goals and nine have had fewer than this number.
The USA’s last six matches have all had more goals in the second half than the first and they’ve conceded after the break in seven of their last eight games. They are unbeaten in their last nine matches against teams ranked 6-15 with five draws and they have also drawn three of their last five competitive matches against European sides.
25 of the USA’s last 29 matches where they’ve failed to score at least twice have had fewer than three goals and 22 have had no more than one strike. Furthermore, all four of the USA’s World Cup knockout games since 1994 have had fewer than three goals.
Eight of the 18 Last 16 matches at the World Cup since 1990 where the higher ranked team was outside the top eight have finished all-square after 90 minutes. Similarly five of the 13 matches at this stage between two teams separated by no more than five ranking positions have been drawn. CONCACAF nations have a W1-D3-L6 record at the knockout stage of the World Cup since 1990 and seven of the matches have had fewer than three goals. On paper Belgium should win this match but the USA are a well organised team and difficult to break down. It looks likely to be a close game and we’d prefer the draw price to Belgium at odds on, although the Draw/Belgium appeals given the USA’s more tiring schedule to get this far. However, the Under Goals market looks the best value of all.
Betting Tips: HT/FT Draw/Belgium @ $5