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Jul 18, 2021 at 10pm UK
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Preview: USA vs. Canada - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: USA vs. Canada - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's CONCACAF Gold Cup clash between USA and Canada, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Canada will renew their rivalry with the USA on Sunday when the two neighbouring countries face each other at the Gold Cup from Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City.

Both teams are guaranteed passage into the quarter-finals, with Canada beating Haiti 4-1 in their second match, while the Americans routed Martinique 6-1.

Match preview

Following an unnerving performance at times in their opening fixture, the United States showed everyone that they are still a force in the region, crushing a helpless Martinique side earlier this week.

Like Canada, the US are missing some of their top players for this competition, but they did not seem to need the likes of Christian Pulisic or Giovanni Reyna on Thursday.

The scary part for teams who will face the US down the road is that their best may still be yet to come, as that 6-1 thrashing was not even their biggest margin of victory this year, as they started 2021 by beating Trinidad and Tobago 7-0 back in January.

Manager Gregg Berhalter gave five players their first career starts while two players made their international debuts in their last outing, but the whole team looked like they had been playing together for years.

Now, the aim will be to keep that momentum going and finish top of their group, something they have been able to do in four successive Gold Cup campaigns.

They may have lost to Canada once at the CONCACAF Nations League in 2019, but the Yanks have handled this team for the most part on home soil lately, winning six of their last eight encounters played in the US and shutting them out six times as well.

The Canadians came into this tournament with expectations as high as they have been in a long time, after qualifying for the Hexagonal phase of World Cup qualifying for the first time since 1997.

Aside from a nervous opening 10 minutes against Martinique, they have met those expectations for the most part and are into the quarter-finals after beating their nemesis from two years ago, Haiti.

Les Grenadiers had their share of good scoring opportunities on Thursday, but Canada made their chances count, scoring on their only four shots on target for another strong performance.

After exercising some Gold Cup demons against Haiti, John Herdman and his team will look to slay another dragon this weekend when they face the United States, a side that they have never beaten at this competition.

This team will believe that they can finally do that after ending a 34-year winless drought against the Yanks back in 2019, beating them 2-0 at the CONCACAF Nations League group stage.

After two matches in this competition, Canada have shown that they may have some outstanding individual talent, but they are far more than just a one-man show.

USA CONCACAF Gold Cup form:
  • W
  • W

USA form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Canada CONCACAF Gold Cup form:
  • W
  • W

Canada form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Gianluca Busio, James Sands and Eryk Williamson all featured in the starting 11 for the first time, while Donovan Pines and Matthew Hoppe earned their first international caps for the Americans.

Gyasi Zardes scored his fifth career Gold Cup goal this week, putting him in a tie with Jozy Altidore and Chris Wondolowski and DaMarcus Beasley for fifth all-time for the US, while centre-back Walker Zimmerman captained the team for the first time, the 13th player to do so under Gregg Berhalter.

Reggie Cannon sat out of their last match due to hamstring tendonitis, Paul Arriola missed the game with hamstring tightness and Cristian Roldan, Busio, Hoppe and Williamson all earned their first career international assists.

Cyle Larin has stepped up in the absence of Jonathan David and Alphonso Davies, scoring a brace versus the Haitians as he leads the Canadian attack with three strikes so far, and he is tied for third all-time for Canada with 19 goals, just four shy of the lead held by Dwayne De Rosario.

Junior Hoilett scored his 12th international goal against Haiti after setting the Canadian record for assists in their opener, setting up two goals versus Martinique for 14 all-time for his country.

Herdman made one change to the back three on Thursday, with Doneil Henry getting the start instead of Alistair Johnston, who moved up to midfield, while Richie Laryea came on as a substitute and Tyler Pasher made his first appearance at the tournament replacing Tajon Buchanan in the latter stages of the game.

USA possible starting lineup:
Turner; Robinson, Sands, Zimmerman, Vines; Bello, Lletget, Busio, Lewis; Zardes, Dike

Canada possible starting lineup:
Crepeau; Miller, Vitoria, Henry; Buchanan, Kaye, Eustaquio, Osorio, Fraser; Larin, Akinola

We say: USA 2-1 Canada

This may be the most evenly matched the Americans and Canadians have been in quite some time, but the US look a little sharper defensively, and they can boast a bit more attacking power than their rivals.

Canada have been dominant offensively in their two group matches, but they still tend to make a few needless giveaways, something they cannot afford to do against a US squad who have scored 14 goals in their last four fixtures.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data

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