World Cup 2022 CONCACAF Qualifying Tips

Visitors to keep it tight

Mexico v Panama
Thursday 04 February, 03:00

Panama boosted their hopes of reaching back-to-back World Cup finals as they came from behind to see off a spirited Jamaica side 3-2. With just four matches left, they are just a point behind the USA and Thursday morning’s opponents Mexico. With trips to face Mexico and the USA still to come, qualification is in the hands of Los Canaleros.

However, they are fair outsiders against a Mexico team with a strong home record. Mexico have won nine and drawn four of their last 13 home matches in World Cup qualifying, and they haven’t lost at home at this level since 2013. That said, El Tri have been underwhelming during this international break. They needed two late goals to overcome Jamaica 2-1 in Kingston, and they were then held to a 0-0 draw at home by Costa Rica. The absence of Wolves striker Raul Jimenez has been keenly felt.

I’ll give Panama a goal-and-a-half start here on the Asian Handicap at 1.84/5. The only defeat they have suffered by more than a goal was a 4-1 thrashing in Canada, and the Canucks have been the best team in the section by quite some distance.

Canada to move a step closer

El Salvador v Canada
Thursday 03 February, 02:00

If you’d have told Canada fans that their team would be four points clear at the top of the qualifying table with four rounds of matches remaining, I suspect only the most optimistic of them would have believed you. John Herdman’s side has played with stability and attacking quality, and in this international break they have brushed off the absence of superstar left-back Alphonso Davies.

The recent 2-0 win over the USA felt like a flag-in-the-sand moment, proof that this is a serious team with serious ambitions.

Herdman admits it’s the kind of result that will convince players who qualify for multiple nations to plump for Canada.

El Salvador picked up an impressive 2-0 at Honduras last time out, but they have come up short against the best sides. They have played six qualifiers against the current top four, and they have collected just four points, winning just once. They were outclassed in the reverse fixture, losing 3-0 in Toronto.

Canada are evens to win this, and that seems like great value for a side in terrific form.

Berhalter’s boys to bounce back

USA v Honduras
Thursday 03 February, 00:30

The USA’s poor away form throughout these qualifiers has stymied them so far, and it’s why their participation in the finals in Qatar later this year is far from being rubber-stamped. While Gregg Berhalter’s side has been unbeaten at home, they have won just one of their five qualifiers on the road. Defeats in Panama and Canada, as well as draws in Jamaica and El Salvador could prove costly.

However, this clash with the bottom side Honduras should provide an effective tonic to the defeat in Canada. Honduras are winless in their ten qualifiers, and they have suffered seven defeats. They have leaked 19 goals, the worst defensive record in the group.

I’ll back USA -1.5 & -2.0 on the Asian Handicap here at 1.8810/11. Berhalter’s side won the reverse fixture 4-1, and there’s no reason to believe they won’t have a similar result here, given that they have won four on the bounce at home.

Defences to falter in Kingston

Jamaica v Costa Rica
Thursday Feb 03, 00:00

While Jamaica’s chances of sneaking a playoff spot lie in ruins after defeats to Mexico and Panama, Costa Rica are still in the mix after a 1-0 win over Panama and a 0-0 draw in Mexico. With home games coming up against Canada and the USA, they’ll have to go for it here, as digging out a draw won’t really get the job done.

Jamaica’s last four qualifiers have seen both teams find the net, and they have found the net at least once in seven of their ten matches, keeping just two clean sheets. Both teams have found the net in just four of Costa Rica’s ten games, but they have to open up a bit in search of a win here, so I’ll happily back BTTS at 2.26/5.

Author: wpadmin

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