There will be 12 qualifying matches left after Sunday, but there is no doubt that there is real pressure on the United States and Canada ahead of their qualification for the CONCACAF World Cup, especially in the case of the Americans. who will be hosting Nissan Stadium in Nashville. . A slow start and a few costly losses at home have led the United States out of the 2018 World Cup. It needs a win to avoid inevitable comparisons with the latest qualifying disaster.

Both teams are coming off a first draw that left them dissatisfied. USMNT were expected to beat a less talented side from El Salvador, but instead tied 0-0 in one of their best chances to win on the road in the final round of qualifying. Meanwhile, Canada were aiming for a home win over Honduras and had to settle for a 1-1 draw. Canada know they can make up for lost two points at home and put their World Cup dreams back on track by winning a major road scalp against a favorite like the United States. And Canadians plan to play on the pressure they know how to put on the Americans:

“Their fans were probably a little upset that it was just a point,” said Canadian defenseman Alistair Johnston. “I know they’re going to feel a little bit of pressure and that will kind of be our game plan – to feed off of it. Can we keep the game tight and combative in the first half and be hard to break and see if we can put some nervous tension in their ranks and they start to feel that pressure. This is something we want to try to do.

Matches have been increasingly competitive between the United States and Canada in recent years as the Canadians have made significant strides, advancing to the CONCACAF qualifying final round for the first time since 1997. The Canadians have won once in the last three meetings since 2019 and deserved more from their narrow 1-0 loss to the Americans in the CONCACAF Gold Cup group stage in July.

“They are one of the most improved teams in CONCACAF,” said USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter. “A good pool of young players, similar to yours. The game is going to be close. We faced them last month in the Gold Cup. We said it was a close game and it will be a close game [Sunday] as well. “

The match will be broadcast on FS1 in English, and on both UniMas and TUDN in Spanish. All three networks are broadcast on fuboTV (7 day free trial).

The event will be hosted at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, where more than 36,000 fans are expected.

Berhalter has confirmed that Zack Steffen will still not be available to play against Canada, and Matt Turner is expected to return between positions. Berhalter also said Christian Pulisic’s status was still being determined the day before the match. He wants to see if Pulisic has made enough progress after an extended shutdown due to a fight with COVID-19. According to Berhalter’s comments, it would be a surprise to see Pulisic in the starting lineup:

“Being away for 10 days and having COVID isn’t the easiest thing to get over,” he said. “For us, it’s about seeing how he can come back safely. “

USMNT projected lineup (4-3-3, left to right): Matt Turner-GK – Antonee Robinson, Walker Zimmerman, John Brooks, Sergino Dest – Sebastian Lletget, Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie – Brenden Aaronson, Josh Sargent , Gio Reyna

Submarines projected by the USMNT (12): Ethan Horvath-GK, George Bello, Tim Ream, Mark McKenzie, Miles Robinson, James Sands, DeAndre Yedlin, Kellyn Acosta, Cristian Roldan, Konrad de la Fuente, Jordan Pefok, Ricardo Pepi

As for Canada, Herdman said there were players who would get a second straight start with a short rest against the United States, but he also expects to introduce new legs. This is likely to happen in midfield, where regulars Mark-Anthony Kaye and Jonathan Osorio rested against Honduras.

Canada’s projected roster (5-3-2, left to right): Milan Borjan-GK – Alphonso Davies, Scott Kennedy, Steven Vitoria, Alistair Johnston, Richie Laryea – Mark-Anthony Kaye, Stephen Eustaquio, Jonathan Osorio – Jonathan David , Lucas Cavallini

Submarines projected in Canada (12): Maxime Crepeau-GK, James Pantemis-GK, Samuel Adekugbe, Doneil Henry, Kamal Miller, Liam Fraser, Atiba Hutchinson, Samuel Piette, David Wotherspoon, Tajon Buchanan, Junior Hoilett, Cyle Larin

If it hadn’t been for the late winner for Mexico, all four of the CONCACAF qualifying round games on Thursday would have ended in a draw. This shows how balanced and competitive the qualifying campaign will be in the region. So we expect the United States and Canada to be equally close and perhaps to be decided, if at all, by a single goal.

The fear of losing should be enough to keep this game low (besides the importance of the goal difference). Neither team will be reckless and the leading team will likely just defend the result and play on the scoreboard.

The unbalanced odds in favor of the United States do not take into account the quality of Canada and its competitiveness against the Americans in the last games. So there is definite value in Canada (for example, double chance is available at 130) if you think The Reds are capable of coming away with a result. If you don’t see any chance that the Americans will lose this game and you think the pessimism is overdone, a USA win or draw and less than 2.5 goals in total (-125) could turn out to be the safest game.

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