Both Panama and Martinique were winners in their first group match but something is going to have to give when they collide – unless it’s a draw, of course.
Panama beats Mexico 2-1; Martinque stuns Canada 1-0
After beating Mexico 2-1 in the Group A opener, Panama have become the favourites in the eyes of many to win Group A, however that notion is not yet reflected in the outright win market for the Gold Cup itself where soccer odds makers list them as the fourth favourites at +900. It’s a long way to go to win the competition and one win doesn’t assure anything obviously. That said Panama are the favourites over Martinique in Thursday’s clash and to all intents and purposes they should come through on their -120 betting odds to win the match.
Martinique stunned Canada in the dying seconds of their CONCACAF opener, beating the favoured Canadians (at -350 at Bet365) 1-0. Colour the world shocked. Now the Caribbean nation looks to mastermind a second sensational result against Panama but the odds are stacked against them across all platforms. Bet365 lists them as the +350 underdogs and serve up the draw at +240. Nonetheless, Martinique has seen its stock value in the futures market improve from +150000 at the start to +10000 going into round 2. A win or a tie over Panama could see them through to the knockout stages and, well, then it could be an all-bets-off scenario!
Panama’s win over Mexico was considered an upset in the broad spectrum of the tournament but, arguably, not so much of a surprise. Mexico’s recent struggles on form are well documented – their World Cup qualifying campaign leaves much to be desired and their turn in Confederations Cup was rather unmemorable. That unconvincing form was always going to threaten to spill over.
Credit goes to Panama though for playing a tactically sound game with a semi-alternate squad on both sides of the coin. They defended well against Mexico and with four back and three in midfield they were potent on the counter attack.
Martinique is not a nation that springs immediately to mind when one thinks of football but didn’t the little island nation put on a good show. Granted, Canada is not in the upper echelons of footballing either. Still, Martinique showed some offensive enthusiasm and creativity, which reaped rewards in the dying seconds. Defensive isn’t their strong point and Canada alas failed to exploit that latent weakness.
Panama vs. Martinique Picks and Predictions
Based purely on their opening accounts at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, where these two sides can be loosely compared is on offense – both squads showed creativity and were opportunistic on the attack when they were given the chance. This leads us to believe that defense will win this match. On that score while Martinique did walk off the pitch with a clean sheet against Canada, let’s face it, the Canadians were overrated to begin with and that clean sheet is down to their inability to score rather than any defensive prowess by Martinique. Panama on the other hand defended well against Mexico and broke through Mexico’s notorious defense to score twice. Therefore, Panama to win this match would appear to be the smart play at -120. Moreover, look for Panama to give Martinique a bit of a reality check – it’s a gulf between Panama and Canada when it comes to depth and talent. Therefore, we are plumping down to a convincing showing by Panama and that is reflected in various sports betting markets such as Panama winning both halves at +220 at Bet365 and the Game totals at Over 2.5 at +140.
Soccer Betting Picks: Panama to win outright at -120, to win both halves at +220 and game total to go over 2.5 goals, priced at +140. Take any or all for your free soccer picks!