USA vs. Belgium World Cup Prediction Current Odds – 7/1/14

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For the Fourth straight Game of the World Cup, the United States come in as underdogs against Belgium in the first round of knockout stages. The USA finished 1-1-1 in group play, beating Ghana, drawing Portugal and losing to Germany. The Belgians won all three group Games, albeit in a not-so convincing way, beating Algeria, Russia and South Korea by one goal apiece.

At 5dimes sportsbook, Belgium is -116 (USA +399) to win in 90 minutes of play, and -200 (USA +170) to advance.

These teams played in a friendly in May 2013 with Belgium winning fairly convincingly 4-2 in Ohio. The USA didn’t have their full roster as Michael Bradley didn’t play, but also defenders Matt Besler and Fabian Johnson didn’t start. On the other end, Belgium’s best player Eden Hazard didn’t come in until the 84th minute. Christian Benteke scored two goals in that Game for Belgium, but he is out with a torn Achilles.

With the way things have gone so far, there’s no reason why the United States can’t keep this Game close or even come up with a win. They’ve had trouble possessing the ball for periods, but have looked potent on the counter attack and that should be the case in this Game.

Jan Vertonghen is set to play left back and that’s where USA’s advantage will come because that’s not his normal position. That means Alejandro Bedoya or Graham Zusi will need to be on their Game on the wings.

Other than that, this is going to be a tough team to Scoreon. Belgium allowed one goal in three Games, and that one goal was from a bad challenge in the box for a penalty kick against Algeria. With only 10-men for half of the South Korea Game, they didn’t let up. Vincent Kompany is one of the best center backs in the world and he’s joined by Daniel Van Buyten (Bayern Munich) and Toby Alderweireld (Atletico Madrid). Alex Witsel has also been solid in the defensive midfield role.

The question in this Game will be what Belgium can do on the attack as they’ve struggled so far. Dries Mertens and Eden Hazard will definitely be problems as Mertens’ speed can’t be matched by many and Hazard will be the most skillful player on the field. While Romelu LUkaku hasn’t played great up front, he’s still a player you can’t forget about.

Up to this point, United States has been better than expected on the defensive end. Matt Besler has been vital at center back and is likely drawing eyes from European teams, while Fabian Johnson has looked great at right back. Omar Gonzalez started against Germany and played well and could take Geoff Cameron’s spot.

Clint Dempsey will have a tough time going against the stronger Vincent Kompany, but he’s played against him before so he knows what’s coming. Once again, Michael Bradley will have his hands full in the middle against Witsel, Marouane Fellaini and Kevin de Bruyne. The United States’ best chances will come from crosses and corners as the wings are where Belgium struggle the most on defense. Or if that doesn’t work, it’s going to take a moment of brilliance from someone like Jermaine Jones.

USA should stay in this Game like they have done in the previous three Games, but the question this time around will be on the offensive end. Belgium probably has the best defense they’ve faced so far and it’s going to be a new task. The return of Jozy Altidore could give the USA a boost as well after going down in the first Game with a bum hamstring.

The opportunities will be there for the United States to advance, but it will be hard for them to stop the ongoing attack of Hazard, Mertens and substitute Kevin Mirallas on the wings.


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