USA vs Colombia – Preview and Prediction
The hosts USA will kick-off the Copa America Centenario Colombia on Saturday, June 4, 2016 at 2:30 am UK Time.
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USA are coming on the back of a 100% win record after their three warm-up matches against Puerto Rico, Ecuador and Bolivia respectively. There is plenty of positives for Jurgen Klinsmann as his team has let just 1 goal in those three matches. USA’s 4-0 win against Guatemala on March 2016 put them on a four match winning run and they had lost just once in their last 9 matches.
Colombia are 4th in the FIFA rankings and they won 3-1 against Haiti in the only warm-up match for the Copa Centenario. They are also on a three match winning run and scored 3 goals each in their last three matches. The preparations are all good and the team is in some good form, but head coach Jose Pekerman is keen to avoid a similar fate like in last year’s Copa America. The Los Cafeteros managed just 1 win in the group stage at Chile and were eventually knocked out by Argentina in the quarter finals after qualifying as the third best team. Colombia scored just 1 goal in the tournament, failing to score in the other three.
USA: Team News
The USA boss Jurgen Klinsman has plenty of experience at his disposal in all departments of the squad. Their captain Michael Bradley with 115 caps is the pick of the bunch, but there is plenty of quality elsewhere in veteran midfielders Jermaine Jones and Kyle Beckerman.
Their attack will be bolstered with the return of Clint Dempsey, who scored 49 goals in 149 appearances for the national team.
While Timothy Chandler is a late omission from the 23 man squad due to injury and is replaced by Monterrey defender Edgar Castillo.
USA: Predicted Line-up (4-3-3)
Guzan – Johnson, Cameron, Brooks, Yedlin – Bradley, Beckerman, Jones – Zardes, Dempsey, Zuzi.
Colombia: Team News
Jose Pekerman’s side has plenty of new faces and the responsibilities now rest on the shoulders of their captain James Rodriguez. But there are plenty of quality in Juan Cuadrado, Carlos Bacca, Carlos Sanchez and Cristian Zapata.
The Argentine born coach decided not to call up the likes of Jackson Martínez, Radamel Falcao, Teófilo Gutiérrez, Fredy Guarín and Abel Aguilar.
While Barcelona goal keeper David Ospina is fit to start after making his appearance in the 3-1 win against Haiti on Monday.
Colombia: Predicted Line-up (4-2-2-1)
Ospina – Diaz, Murillo, Zapata, Arias – C. Sanchez, Torres – Cuadrado, Rodriguez – Moreno, Bacca.
USA vs Colombia: Head-to-Head Stat
The teams had met on 8 previous occasions starting from their first ever meeting in the 1971 Pan American Games. Colombia hold a healthy record with 5 wins and 1 draw, while USA won in 2.
The last meeting between the two sides was in a friendly on November 2014 at Craven Cottage, London; where Colombia came back from a goal down to win 2-1.
Colombia are unbeaten in their last three meetings against USA in all competitions.
The last USA win against Colombia was on March 2005 by a 3-0 margin in an international friendly at the Titan Stadium in California.
Colombia and USA had previously met in Copa America on two occasions, 1995 and 2004; Colombia won on both occasions.
USA vs Colombia: Prediction
On paper, Colombia are definite favorites to win the Copa America opener of 2016, but USA have other plans in mind. The Stars and Stripes are team that should not be underestimated and they have a good record in major tournaments. And the fact that the tournament is being played in front of their own fans could work in their favor.
Colombia are in good scoring form, but USA have a very strong and composed defense and they have kept clean sheets in three of their last four matches. Colombia haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last 6 matches and they are likely to concede one here.
My prediction for this match is a 1-1 draw, but I believe USA are in for a big upset here, as previously happened on the opening day of most major tournaments.
Recommended Bet: Double Chance, USA/Draw (odds @ 1.44)
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals (odds 2.25)