The United States men’s national team go head-to-head with Trinidad and Tobago this midweek as both sides complete the fourth round of CONCACAF qualifying for the soccer World Cup 2018 in Russia (8.15pm ET, Tuesday).
Team USA are still not guaranteed a spot in the fifth and final round of the campaign – which is nicknamed the ‘Hex’ given that six teams face-off for the three automatic qualification spots – ahead of their final encounter on Tuesday.
USMNT’s 6-0 thrashing of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on Friday has left them on the brink of a place in the next stage. The only situation in which they would not advance from Group C is if they lose to Trinidad and Tobago and Guatemala defeat Saint Vincent and the Grenadines with a goal difference swing of 12 across the two games. While a draw would be enough to see the United States progress, they should not take anything for granted ahead of the final round of matches. Jurgen Klinsmann’s (pictured) side could do with a repeat of the impressive performance they delivered against fourth-placed Saint Vincent and the Grenadines last time out. That could be a preview of things to come in this match, though possibly not be such a dominant margin.
Trinidad and Tobago have already made it through to the Hex after collecting a total of 11 points from their first five fixtures. Their 2-2 draw with Guatemala last week extended their unbeaten run and ensured they would definitely be competing in the fifth round of qualifying. The Caribbean nation is attempting to reach the World Cup for only the second time in their history. They are still the smallest nation in both size and population to have appeared at the tournament after their showing in 2006. The Soca Warriors deserve great credit for their performance in the campaign to date, particularly as their bid to reach the 2014 World Cup in Brazil was ended in the second round of CONCACAF qualifying last time out.
Klinsmann may opt to select Borussia Dortmund teenager Christian Pulisic from the start of this encounter after the 17-year-old came off the bench and netted a brace against Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The youngster is the most promising prospect in American soccer at present and the supporters attending the match at the EverBank Field in Jacksonville will be desperate to see him in action. However Klinsmann could choose to keep him on the bench, given that the United States have not yet secured their place in the Hex. Bobby Wood will continue up front alongside either Jordan Morris or Jozy Altidore, with Middlesbrough goalkeeper Brad Guzan the favourite to start ahead of Tim Howard between the sticks once more.
Trinidad and Tobago’s squad contains nine players who ply their trade in the United States, including MLS quintet Joevin Jones (Seattle Sounders), Aubrey David (FC Dallas), Mekeil Williams (Colorado Rapids), Kevin Molino (Orlando City) and Cordell Cato (San Jose Earthquakes).
Former Sunderland, Stoke City and Southampton striker Kenwyne Jones will likely prove a handful for the USA’s defence. The ex-Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace midfielder John Bostock will not be involved due to a delay in the 24-year-old receiving international clearance from FIFA.
Taking everything into account, this preview concludes that it is probably worth backing the USMNT to come out on top when they take on Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday evening. The fact that Klinsmann’s charges need a victory to guarantee their progression to the final round should give them the edge over a team who have already qualified for the Hex. The USA’s home advantage should not be underestimated either.
Bovada Sportsbook make Team USA odds-on shots at -500 to win this game. Those are prohibitive odds to get involved with and would not be a constructive or original betting picks’ choice. Instead, the correct score result of 3-1 in the United States’ favor could be the way to go for this one. Wood may prove a sensible choice to score the first goal of the game.
- Correct Score Betting Pick: Bet on the United States to beat Trinidad and Tobago by the score of 3-1 at +850 betting odds with Bovada Sportsbook.
- First Goalscorer Betting Pick: We would take Bobby Wood to score the first goal of the game. That is an option that is not available at the time of writing this preview with any of the USA sportsbooks. However it should be much closer to the 8.15pm ET Tuesday kick-off time.