USA vs. Algeria Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria South Africa 10 AM EST Wednesday June 23, 2010 on ESPN
By Jason Green of Predictem.com
Match Odds: USA 1.90 / Algeria 3.75 / Draw 3.50
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
Moneyline: USA -110 / Algeria +275 / Draw +245
In the last Group C match on Wednesday afternoon USA takes on Algeria. The destiny of the Americans is in their hands, as if they can beat Algeria they will advance to the knockout phase. If they lose they are done and they will be going home. USA was robbed in the last match against Slovenia and it cost them a win. Now they have to beat Algeria, who is coming off a solid draw against England.
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USA can still win the group if they win this match, England beats Slovenia, and USA ends up with more goals that England. It sounds like a lot for the Americans to take the group, but each 3 of the scenarios are likely.
Algeria can still advance out of Group C, but they need to win this match and have England lose or play to a draw against Slovenia.
In these teams last matches both played on Friday, as USA played to a 2-2 draw against Slovenia and Algeria played to a 0-0 draw against England.
The USA looked terrible in the first half in the Slovenia match and was thoroughly outplayed. Their offense did not come alive until the second half and they have to play like that all match long against a confident Algeria. The time of possession battle was pretty even in the match, but the second half was all USA.
Algeria were not intimidated by a supposed much better English squad in playing to a scoreless draw. The Algerians were tougher and outplayed England in the midfield and they hurried the English into constantly making mistakes. They restricted the space the English had and they will have to do that against Americans, who will look to push forward on offense all match long. Algeria played their tactics to perfection and may have to do that again against a hungry USA squad.
USA Recent Form:
6/18/2010 USA 2 Slovenia 2 (World Cup)
6/12/2010 USA 1 England 1 (World Cup)
6/5/2010 USA 3 Australia 1 (Friendly)
5/29/2010 USA 2 Czech Republic 4 (Friendly)
Algeria Recent Form:
6/18/2010 Algeria 0 England 0 (World Cup)
6/13/2010 Algeria 0 Slovenia 1 (World Cup)
6/5/2010 Algeria 1 United Arab Emirates 0 (Friendly)
5/28/2010 Ireland 3 Algeria 0 (Friendly)
Robbie Findley was booked for a hand-ball in the Slovenia box and will not be available for the match with Algeria.
USA G Tim Howard was beat for 2 goals in the match against Slovenia, but neither was really his fault. The USA defense will have to tighten up and not make mistakes like they did in the first half of the Slovenia match. They will do just that and Howard will keep a clean sheet in this match.
American strikers Herculez Gomez or Edson Buddle have to step up since Robbie Findley cannot play because of accumulated yellow cards. Bundle and Gomez each led their respective leagues in scoring and they may be an upgrade, in terms of pressuring the opposing keeper.
Algerian G Faouzi Chaquchi made a huge mistake, which gave Slovenia their only goal in the opening Group C match and even though he is not seen as a world-class keeper he has to play well in this match. I think he will do well, but the Americans will still score at least 2 goals on him.
America’s offense looked great in the second half against Slovenia, especially the players of Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore and Landon Donovan. These guys will have to step up and pressure the Algerian defense all match. Since the Americans really need a win I think one of these guys, at least, will score in this match.
Jason’s Pick: OK, so I am biased in this match, as I want the USA to win. However, they are the favorites and even though they were robbed of a win in their last match they will step it up in this one. They will not come out lackadaisical in the first half and they will attack from the get go. Look for the Americans to play a solid match all 90 minutes and win by a score or 2-0 or 3-0.