Gold Cup Predictions: Trinidad & Tobago vs. Guatemala CONCACAF Soccer Picks

Steven Suarez

Thursday, July 9, 2015 12:26 PM GMT

Thursday, Jul. 9, 2015 12:26 PM GMT

Whereas Mexico should dominate Cuba in the other Group C match on Thursday, the other clash is a lot more unclear. Let's run down the soccer betting odds to see what we can come up with.

Odds Overview
There's not much in it at all, but for now Trinidad and Tobago is the slight favorite at +170 on 5Dimes. A Guatemala victory is priced out at right around +200, with a draw not far away at +205.

As you can see, soccer odds makers don't have one team in a clearly superior position for Thursday. 

 

Trinidad & Tobago
It's been an awfully long while since Trinidad and Tobago was able to find the back of the net. We'd have to rewind all the way back to November during the Caribbean Cup in a 4-2 win over French Guyana. Since then, the team hasn't been able to score a single goal in over 450 minutes of competitive play.

We'll have to see if Trinidad and Tobago's luck will turn around in their group stage opener against Guatemala. While the attacking ineptitude has been on display, at least this group has done well defensively, and that alone should give them a realistic chance of advancing out of Group C. It's surely going to come down to them and their Thursday opponents (since Mexico's looking so strong), making tonight's match all the more important.

The standout player for T&T has to be Kenwyne Jones, who has plied his trade in the Premier League and will likely be leading the line for his country. Kadeem Corbin and Rundell Winchester, who plays with the Portland Timbers, are also names to keep an eye out for going forward, and if T&T is to finally get the ball in the back of the net, it's likely one of those three will be involved.

This handicapper also previews tonight's matchup between Mexico & Cuba

Guatemala
It's been a relatively busy preparation period for the Guatemalans. Though they were able to scoot past Bermuda 1-0 over the two legs of their World Cup Qualifying encounter, they've been getting beaten handily in all of their friendly matches.

Back in late May we saw Guatemala lose 3-0 to Mexico, and that was followed by a 5-1 defeat at the hands of Uruguay. Then, more recently, the Guatemalans were thumped 4-0 by the USA in their final tuneup before the start of the Gold Cup. It was a struggle for Guatemala against one of the competition's favorites in Nashville, and the defensive line particularly struggled throughout. Chances were created going forward, but nothing got past Brad Guzan in the end.

There are a few key individuals to watch for Guatemala, but a lot of the impetus will fall on the small shoulders of Marco Pappa, who has been an effective player in the MLS for quite some time now. He's got as much quality as anyone else in the Gold Cup and will be instrumental in any success his country may see. Also keep an eye out for Carlos Ruiz, a striker who plays for Municipal in his home nation.

 

Gold Cup Pick
Scoring goals has obviously been a major issue for both of these teams heading into the Gold Cup, but is there one side of the coin that we prefer best?

Not particularly. Both outfits should be very well-drilled here, and we're expecting a much more disciplined back-line out of Guatemala after they were just shredded by the Americans. We could see both sides getting a goal here, but we don't foresee one-way traffic by any stretch of the imagination.

Instead, a draw seems like a more than reasonable prediction, with both teams aware that getting nothing at all from this fixture would already put them in a big hole. With that said, for our soccer picks we're going to recommend a small wager on the draw when Trinidad and Tobago squares off with Guatemala in Chicago.

Soccer Pick: Trinidad and Tobago 1 Guatemala 1

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