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CONCACAF Nations League | League A
Oct 14, 2023 at 2am UK
Hasely Crawford Stadium
GN

Trin. & Tob.
3 - 2
Guatemala

Jones (36' pen.), Moore (54'), James (89')
Powder (35'), Telfer (45'), Garcia (45+2'), David (65'), James (90+11')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Rubin (12'), Santis (31')
Robles (80'), Garcia (88')

Preview: Trinidad and Tobago vs. Guatemala - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Trinidad and Tobago vs. Guatemala - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's CONCACAF Nations League clash between Trinidad and Tobago and Guatemala, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

One of the early surprise stories in League A, Trinidad and Tobago can maintain their 100% record at the CONCACAF Nations League when they host Guatemala on Friday at Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.

The Soca Warriors won a thrilling back-and-forth contest 3-2 versus El Salvador on matchday two, vaulting them to the top of Group A with six points, while the Guatemalans remained unbeaten thanks to a 1-1 draw at home to Panama.


Match preview

Coming into this tournament off a dismal 2023 Gold Cup campaign where they crashed out in the group phase, losing their final two encounters by a combined score of 10-1, the Nations League expectations in Trinidad were relatively low.

The goal at the beginning of this competition for Angus Eve was to expose more players to big tournaments like the Nations League, but with a pair of victories already, the new objective is surely to get this team beyond the group stage for the first time.

A victory on matchday three would just about be enough to see them advance into the last eight, as only Panama and Martinique would be able to catch them if they triumph on Friday, though Les Matinino are currently three points behind TNT with an inferior goal difference as well (-2 to +2).

Having only earned a promotion into League A because Nicaragua used an ineligible player last season, TNT caught a lucky break to get back into the top tier of this competition, but they have made the most of their second chance, scoring four goals in two matches, one more than in their first League A appearance.

It has been over four years since they last suffered a defeat at Hasely Crawford Stadium, losing 2-0 versus Honduras in a Nations League A fixture in October 2019, while they have won their only two matches played there in 2023, without a goal conceded against Saint-Martin (2-0) and Curacao (1-0).

A resilient Guatemalan group showed plenty of character on matchday two, going behind after seven minutes to the 2023 Gold Cup finalists before finding a breakthrough with fewer than 20 minutes remaining.

Los Chapines have had a lot of resolve of late, coming back to claim a positive result two of the previous three times that they were behind in the second half, putting them within touching distance of a quarter-final spot in the Nations League, trailing Panama on goal difference.

Despite competing in a higher tier to begin each of the previous two Nations League campaigns, La Bicolor have been able to maintain an elite level of play, losing only one encounter in League A, B and C (2-0 at French Guiana in League B in June 2022).

Luis Fernando Tena has kept this group disciplined and sharp defensively throughout the year, with his side conceding a goal or fewer in 12 of their 14 games played in 2023, while Guatemala have only allowed three goals in their last seven Nations League affairs.

Possessing one of the most well-organised backlines in the region, it is no surprise that Los Chapines have a 100% record at the Nations League when scoring first, conceding only once in their nine encounters at this tournament when doing so (2-1 victory over Belize in March 2023).

Guatemala are winless in nine successive matches in all competitions versus the Soca Warriors, with their last victory coming in a World Cup qualifying fixture in March 2005 (5-1) while they have never beaten them in Port of Spain, though they managed to come back and earn a draw in their previous two visits to Hasely Crawford Stadium in 2016 (2-2) and 2008 (1-1).

Trinidad and Tobago CONCACAF Nations League form:


Trinidad and Tobago form (all competitions):


Guatemala CONCACAF Nations League form:


Guatemala form (all competitions):



Team News

Eve added two new faces to the TNT starting 11 on matchday two versus El Salvador, with Reon Moore and Kristian Lee-Him coming in for Daniel Phillips and Kaile Auvray.

Heading into their opening League A fixture, there was only one cap between the three goalkeepers selected to this squad, with Denzil Smith now at three senior appearances after playing in their opening two matches ahead of Christopher Biggette and Jabari St. Hillaire, while Brent Sam will hope to feature for the first time at the Nations League, with his only Soca Warriors appearance coming in a March 2021 World Cup qualifying victory over Guyana (3-0).

Goals from Ryan Telfer and Malcolm Shaw enabled them to level their match with El Salvador on two occasions, before Justin Garcia scored his first with the senior squad, 19 minutes from the end.

Only one newcomer was added to the Guatemalan starting 11 for their encounter against the Panamanians, with Jorge Aparicio entering the lineup in place of Rodrigo Saravia.

Matan Peleg, Cristian Jimenez, Robin Betancourth and Kevin Ruiz were among the newcomers called up for this Nations League cycle who were not there in their first two encounters at this tournament, with Ruiz the least experienced of that bunch in terms of international caps, with only four to his name, the last one coming in a friendly versus Honduras last September (0-0 draw).

Oscar Santis now has eight goals as a member of Los Chapines, three of which have come at the Nations League, including the equaliser on matchday two versus Los Canaleros, as he netted 26 minutes after entering that contest in place of Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.

Trinidad and Tobago possible starting lineup:
Smith; Gomez, David, Garcia, Russell; Telfer, Muckette, Hackshaw, Phillips; Shaw, Rampersad

Guatemala possible starting lineup:
Hagen; Morales, Pinto, Samayoa, Ardon; Mejia, Santis, Castellanos, Mendez-Laing, Altan; Rubin


We say: Trinidad and Tobago 1-1 Guatemala

Both sides come into this encounter in high spirits, and despite their poor record away from home against the Soca Warriors, La Bicolor have found a way to earn results when faced with a setback on plenty of occasions of late, and we believe they will do the same on matchday three.



For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


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