The 14th edition of the CONCACAF Gold Cup kicks off on Friday July 7. Team USA and Mexico are the two big favorites but both of them enter the tournament with their “B team”. That might affect their performance and open the door for the other teams to win the trophy.
French Guiana and Canada face each other for the first time ever in a competitive match. Of course French Guiana are the underdogs but they should not be underestimated. They have 12 players from the French leagues with some of them performing in Ligue 1. They are a dangerous team and they enter the competition after finishing their Caribbean Cup in 3rd place losing the semifinals to Jamaica on penalties. They have a decent attack with talented players and they should find the back of the net in this match. It will be tough for them to qualify from in the knock-out stages and they are here to play their chance and enjoy every minute. Canada come into the tournament in great shape winning two friendly games against Bermuda and Curacao and should have enough to win their 1st fixture. Best pick for the match: over 2.5 goals at +100 with Bet365.Honduras vs. Costa Rica
Los Ticos have the best odds to win the trophy being priced at +700 with 10Bet. They are without their star player Keylor Navas but they still have a really strong squad with Joel Campbell and Bryan Ruiz being their main firepower. They should be able to start the competition on the right foot and win the three points against Honduras. Honduras haven’t won a match since March, with three draws and two losses suffered in their last five international fixtures. Honduras and Costa Rica have already met twice in 2017 in Copa Centroamericana and in the World Cup Qualifiers with both games ending 1-1. Costa Rica are determined to win their 1st Gold Cup trophy and they will put their best effort to win the game. Honduras should have enough to contribute on the scoreboard. Best pick for the match: Both teams to score at +130 with Betway.USA vs. Panama
USA are the hosts of this Gold Cup edition and one of the heavy favorites to win the trophy. Despite missing their star players (Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Christian Pulisic) USA are the superior team having more quality in all the fields. The fact that they are playing on their turf in front of their fans represent a huge advantage. On paper, USA should have enough to top GROUP B and win their three group stage fixtures but in reality it will not be a walk in the park. Panama are here to play their chance and let’s remember that USA were held to a 1-1 draw by Panama back in March and they should not be underestimated. USA have a good record being unbeaten in their last eight fixtures winning two in their last three matches. Since 1991 Team USA have won five Gold Cup editions and it will be a huge surprise if they will not play at least the finals. They should start strong and solve the match from half-time. Best pick for the match: USA to win at -140 with Bet365.
Mexico vs. El Salvador
El Tri will enter this competition with their B team, very different from the squad they played in the Confederations Cup in Russia with all the players performing in their domestic league. Their main attacking player Alan Pulido suffered an injury in their friendly game against Paraguay which will keep him out for more than four months. The defending champions have won 7 out of the 13 editions of the Gold Cup but it will be really tough for them to win it once again without their star players. The Gold Cup is the perfect opportunity for Juan Carlos Osorio to test out some young players. They should easily win their three group stage fixtures and top Group C so we expect them to start strong against a poor opponent El Salvador. Best pick for the match: Mexico to win Half-Time/Full-Time at -130 with Intertops.