Eight countries continue on in the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup – with the United States and Mexico again the favourites to win North America’s top soccer trophy. Let’s pick the best bets.
With the Group Stage in the rear-view mirror, it is the perfect time to check on the eight countries remaining in the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup and look at their chances of winning the tournament. You can find our CONCACAF Gold Cup picks going into the Knockout Stage below.
Best Country to Win the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup
|To Win the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup|
After some good showings by countries earlier in the Group Stage, including Canada (more on them in a minute), once again entering the Knockout Stage, it is a showdown between Mexico and the United States for the best bet to win the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Our earlier predictions on the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup had us backing the United States to win the tournament. However, after watching three games and considering the performances of the players, we are backing Mexico to win the tournament.
Mexico was the only team during the Group Stage not to allow a goal. In a tournament, where the powerhouses have feasted on lesser countries – goalscoring is slightly over-valued entering the Knockout Stage.
Mexico’s draw – against Honduras – is favourable for reaching the semis. Honduras has one win against Mexico in their last eight games, and their defence allowed four goals in three games.
After the win, Mexico likely has to deal with a shorthanded Canadian team and an American squad lacking their best player in the Finals (Christian Pulisic scored the goal-winning goal against Mexico in extra-time in the CONCACAF Nations League Finals). Go with Mexico to win their 12th Gold Cup.
El Salvador the Underdog no one wants to Play
In our preview of last weekend’s games, we talked about the history of the El Salvador versus Mexico rivalry (if you can call it a rivalry). While El Salvador added another loss to the long tally against Mexico, it was the type of game where you can see this is a team no one you should take lightly.
El Salvador wrapped up the Group Stage scoring more goals against Group A than Mexico (four vs. three) while only allowing one goal in their loss to Mexico (giving each country four goals in the stage).
El Salvador plays Qatar in the Knockout Stage – not an easy matchup by any means, but historically you should go with the CONCACAF clubs. No non-CONCACAF country has won the tournament, and that includes three years with Brazil. We can see them upsetting Qatar – and using their quality defence to win the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Can Canada Recover from the Devasting Injury News?
Canada had a successful Group Stage – that could have ended with a first place in their group, if not for a goal allowed 20 seconds into their 1-0 loss to the USA. Now, only a few days later, it feels like we can throw out everything from the Group Stage after the team’s recent injury news.
Canada will go into the Knockout Stage without forwards Ayo Akinola and Cyle Larin. Larin finished the Group Stage with three goals – tied with Romell Quioto for the most goals at the end of the Group Stage. Akinola tore his ACL is out of the rest of the tournament and the remainder of the Toronto FC 2021 season.
Losing Larin stings the most. With Alphonso Davies out for rest, Larin needed to take over duties as the team’s top-scoring forward. Larin also had seven goals for Canada during this World Cup qualifiers – and they will need him back when they resume in September.
Canada vs. Costa Rica Betting Picks
While winning the Gold Cup is likely out of the question for Canada now – as they will probably need to pull off wins against Mexico and the United States to accomplish the feat, Canada can still beat and play well against other countries, including Costa Rica.
We are not sure if Canada will win this game outright – which is why we are betting on a draw in this match. Costa Rica and Canada have played to a tie in their last three meetings at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Canada still has talent on offence without Cyle Larin – with Stephen Eustaquio scoring two goals in the Group Stage and Jonathan Osorio and Junior Hoilett each netting a goal.
Costa Rica had two players each net two goals in the Group Stage – Celso Borges and Joel Campbell. We can see each team having one of those guys netting a goal in regulation, setting up a 1-1 draw and some extra time in this CONCACAF Gold Cup Quarter-finals matchup.
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