Thursday’s CONCACAF Nations League betting tips: Previews, predictions and odds7 June 2022
Canada vs Curaçao
It’s been a very eventful international window for Canada, despite the fact they’re yet to play a game, which is the whole issue really.
First, the Canucks were scheduled to play IR Iran in a friendly, but this was cancelled a couple of weeks ago due to geo-political reasons.
Not to worry, Panama stepped in as a replacement and, and hour before kick off on Sunday, the game was all set to go ahead with fans arriving.
However, out of nowhere, this game was cancelled too, with the Canadian players on strike due to a labour dispute relating to pay, amongst other things.
John Herdman’s side have subsequently returned to training, so should take to the field for the first time since World Cup qualifying concluded.
Later this year, Les Rouges will feature at a World Cup for the first time in 36 years, facing Belgium, Croatia and Morocco in November.
So, these games are about preparing for those huge tests, with Canada also aiming to reach the CONCACAF Nations League Finals for the first time.
Will the home crowd in Vancouver, first get to see a game but secondly, be celebrating a victory?
Curaçao meanwhile have already been in action twice in this group, with mixed results.
First, la Pantera Azul looked set to struggle when Honduras won 1-0 in Willemstad last Friday night.
But then, in Monday’s rematch, goals from Leandro Bacuna and Anthony van den Hurk secured a shock 2-1 victory on the road in San Pedro Sula.
Curaçao survived in League A back in 2019, finishing two points clear of Haiti, and that victory in Honduras keeps alive their hopes of a repeat.
Nevertheless, this game is all about Canada, so will the table-toppers from World Cup qualifying put on a show, in more ways than one, at BC Place?
Panama vs Martinique
Will Panama pull clear at the top of this CONCACAF Nations League group?
On matchday one, los Canaleros began this campaign with a statement 2-0 victory over local rivals Costa Rica.
Ismael Díaz and then Cecilio Waterman bagging the second half goals at Estadio Olímpico Rommel Fernández Gutiérrez.
Since, Panama have flown to Vancouver and back for a game that didn’t happen; their friendly against Canada cancelled at the last minute.
Earlier this year, Thomas Christiansen’s side missed out on World Cup qualifying, ending up four points below Costa Rica in the Octagonal.
Meantime, in this competition, la Marea Roja lost three of four matches in 2019, only avoiding relegation on goal difference above Bermuda.
Now though, a victory here would see them in occupy the catbird seat to reach next June’s Nations League Finals.
Martinique meanwhile are yet to win a match in this competition, surviving in League A with just three draws during the inaugural season.
On Sunday, les Matinino began this campaign with a 2-0 defeat against Costa Rica in San José.
Marc Collat’s side were favourites for relegation when the draw was made on 4 April, and that’ll only intensify if they’re beaten here.
The hosts should have far too much quality in Panama City.
Antigua and Barbuda vs Cuba
Will Antigua & Barbuda continue their perfect start to the CONCACAF Nations League?
So far, the Benna Boys have both matches in this group, both 1-0, first beating Barbados before a victory over Guadeloupe.
Shavorn Philip with a stoppage time winner in the former in Gros Islet before, on Sunday, Myles Weston got the only goal in Basseterre.
So, Antigua and Barbuda have now won five of their last seven Nations League matches, all in League B, dreaming of promotion to the top-tier.
Cuba meanwhile are the favourites to finish first in this section and are also favourites to claim three points in this fixture.
The Lions of the Caribbean lost all four Nations League matches in 2019 in an admittedly very tough group featuring the U.S. and Canada.
Pablo Elier Sánchez’s side then actually began this campaign with a shock defeat too, conceding in the 91st minute in Guadeloupe.
However, at the weekend, Cuba got back on track, hammering Barbados 3-0 at Estadio Antonio Maceo.
Willian Pozo-Venta, Arichel Hernández and Luis Paradela all on target in Santiago de Cuba.
Having qualified for eight of the last 11 Gold Cups, only missing last year’s due to a Covid-19 outbreak, Cuba are very much this group’s heavyweights.
So, will they show their quality in this one at haha?
Barbados vs Guadeloupe
Will Barbados get off the mark in this edition of the CONCACAF Nations League?
So far, the Bajan Tridents have zero points and zero goals scored to their name, going down 1-0 against Antigua & Barbuda before a 3-0 drubbing in Cuba.
Russell Latapy’s team won promotion to League B back in 2019, winning four of six third-tier matches.
However, it appears as though they’ll be unable to bridge the quality gap that comes with the step up.
Guadeloupe meanwhile began this campaign with a dramatic 2-1 home win over Cuba; Thierry Ambrose bagging the winner in stoppage time.
However, les Gwada Boys were unable to build on this at the weekend, going down 1-0 against Antigua and Barbuda.
Guadeloupe also won promotion from League C in 2019, also qualify for last summer’s Gold Cup by beating Bahamas and Guatemala 12 months ago.
So, Jocelyn Angloma’s side will be targeting a victory here which would, almost, ensure their survival in the Nations League’s second tier.
Will Guadeloupe be too strong at Daren Sammy Cricket Ground?
Belize vs French Guinea
Will French Guinea continue their 100% start to this Nations League campaign?
On Sunday night, les Yana Dòkòs fought back from 2-1 down to beat Dominican Republic 3-2 at Estadio Olímpico Félix Sánchez.
Joel Sarrucco had broken the deadlock in Santa Domingo, but they needed second half goals from Loïc Baal and Arnold Abelinti to secure the win.
Three days earlier, French Guinea had began with a surprise 2-0 victory over Guatemala, in which haha and Sarrucco Thomas Némouthé scored.
So, Thierry De Neef’s side are sitting pretty at the top of Group D, looking to pull further clear with another win here.
Remember, if French Guinea do end up coming first, they’ll not only be promoted to League A but will qualify for the Gold Cup for just the second time.
Belize meanwhile are rock bottom of this section having lost both games to date, both 2-0, against Dominican Republic and Guatemala.
This means the Jaguars have now lost six of eight CONCACAF Nations League games, needing points to avoid relegation to the bottom-tier.
Will this one go to form at FFB Stadium?
Aruba vs Saint Kitts and Nevis
After suffering a surprise relegation three years ago, will Saint Kitts & Nevis prove to be too strong for Nations League C?
In the inaugural staging of this competition, the Sugar Boyz won just once so finished bottom of their group; that sole victory coming in Belize.
Then, St. Kitts showed their quality in World Cup qualifying, eliminating Trinidad & Tobago in the first round by beating Puerto Rico, Bahamas and Guyana.
After topping Group F in the first round, they came unstuck in round two, bowing out against El Salvador, getting hammered 6-0 on aggregate.
In short, Austin Huggins’ side are far from CONCACAF heavyweights, but they should breeze through this League C group.
If St. Kitts are to gain promotion, Aruba are going to be the team to beat.
Marvic Bermúdez’s side have already been in action twice in this group, both times against Saint Martin, drawing 0-0 on matchday one.
Then, on Monday, they hammered the group’s minnows 3-0 thanks to Terence Groothusen’s brace and a clincher from Benjamin Maria.
Like their visitors, Aruba were competing in League B in 2019, where they lost all six matches, conceding 18 goals.
So, this should be a relatively evenly-matched encounter in Willemstad, but one St. Kitts & Nevis will fancy winning.
Dominica vs Saint Lucia
After failing to win twice against the group’s minnows, Dominica really need to claim three points here if they’re to gain promotion.
So far in this group, Dominica have faced CONCACAF’s lowest-ranked nation Anguilla twice, but drawn on both occasions.
First, it ended goalless in The Valley before, on Sunday, Julian Wade opener wasn’t enough as the two drew 1-1.
Rajesh Latchoo’s side were relegated from Nations League B in 2019, with just one point to their name, and their hopes of immediate promotion are fading.
So, despite having not played yet in this season’s competition, Saint Lucia are now the firm favourites to top the group.
They too are newly-relegated at this level having finished bottom of their second-tier group last time round, their sole win against Dominican Republic.
Saint Lucia actually haven’t played a competitive game since November 2019, as they were forced to withdraw from World Cup qualifying.
So, will Stern John’s team return to action with a victory at Windsor Park in Roseau?
Cayman Islands vs Puerto Rico
Can Cayman Islands claim their first win of this Nations League season?
So far, they’ve drawn both matches, both by the same 1-1 scoreline, both against the British Virgin Islands.
Syrus Conolly scoring in Road Town before Jonah Ebanks was on target back in George Town.
However, having narrowly missed out on promotion in 2019, Benjamin Pugh’s team would certainly have been hoping to win one of these games.
Thus, despite the fact this is their first game of the campaign, Puerto Rico can leap to the top of the standings.
El Huracán Azul were last in action a year ago when, in World Cup qualifying, they enjoyed back-to-back wins over Bahamas and Guyana.
In the Nations League, Puerto Rico beat Anguilla twice but lost to Guatemala twice in 2019, but are going for promotion this time round.
All in all, an away win seems likely at Truman Bodden Sports Complex.
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