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Jun 16, 2021 at 12am UK
CuracaoCuracao
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PanamaPanama
 
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Preview: Curacao vs. Panama - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Curacao vs. Panama - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's World Cup Qualifying - North Central America clash between Curacao and Panama, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Curacao take on Panama in a World Cup qualifier at Stadion Ergilio Hato on Tuesday.

Panama secured a 2-1 victory at home in the first leg on Saturday and will be looking to see the job through.


Match preview

Unlike Panama, Curacao have never qualified for a World Cup in their history, so Tuesday's second leg is a hugely anticipated clash for them.

Former Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink, who took over Curacao last year, would have been fearing the worst when his side fell to two second-half strikes from Alberto Quintero Medina and Cecilio Waterman, but Rangelo Janga's 86th-minute strike has given the Dutch-speaking Caribbean island real hope.

Hiddink led South Korea and Australia to the knockout stages of the 2002 and 2006 World Cups respectively earlier in his career, so the 74-year-old will be desperate to have a chance of qualifying from the final round of CONCACAF qualifying.

With home advantage on their side, there is every chance that they can beat Panama to earn that opportunity.

After reaching the World Cup for the first time in their entire history in 2018, anything short of reaching the final round of CONCACAF qualifying would have to be viewed as a major disappointment for Panama.

Los Canaleros looked set to be on the cusp of doing so after Waterman provided them with a two-goal lead in the 77th minute, but Janga's goal has left the tie in the balance.

Panama boss Thomas Christiansen will be hoping his side's greater experience of delivering on big occasions will pull them through on Tuesday evening.

Having only scored from two of their eight shots on target in the first leg, more ruthlessness in front of goal could be the key to doing so.

Curacao World Cup Qualifying - North Central America form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L

Panama World Cup Qualifying - North Central America form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Panama form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Hiddink may be imploring his side to show greater discipline after midfielders Jarchinio Antonia and Vurnon Anita both picked up yellow cards in the first half of the first leg.

Much of Curacao's hopes will hinge on the attacking triumvirate of Janga, Leandro Bacuna and Juninho Bacuna.

Christiansen, meanwhile, may be tempted to start Waterman after the striker's impact from the bench in the first leg.

That could mean Gabriel Torres dropping out of the XI.

Curacao possible starting lineup:
Room; Gaari, Martina, Alberto; Antonia, Felida, Anita, Maria; L.Bacuna; J.Bacuna, Janga

Panama possible starting lineup:
Mejia; Murillo, Cummings, Andrade, Davis; Carrasquilla, Godoy; Quintero, Barcenas, Rodriguez; Waterman


We say: Curacao 1-1 Panama

We expect Panama's greater experience and quality to narrowly get them over the line on Tuesday.

However, Curacao are likely to come out all guns blazing and should not be underestimated, especially with Hiddink's tactical acumen.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data



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