|World Cup 2014|
||vs|| United States
ScheduleTuesday, 1 July 2014 at 20:00 GMT / 21:00 UK / 01:30 IST
VenueArena Fonte Nova (Salvador)
Next Tuesday, the powerful Belgium will take on the USA at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador on a match that might offer the Belgian team the opportunity to walk through the Round of 16 stage for the first time since 1986.
The Belgian team were seen by some pundits as a strong candidate to fight with the usual “big dogs” for a place at the top five of the tournament. Marc Wilmots' boys didn’t fall short of expectations as they managed to win all their three group matches with more or less difficulty. In fact, none of the Belgian team’s performances was a delight to the eye, probably with the exception of the second-half against Algeria. On their second clash against Russia, Belgium did not manage to control the match and allowed the Eastern European Team to dominate for large periods of the game but, even though, they grabbed a late win thanks to a goal by Origi.
Belgium’s last match against Korea was a completely different story, however, especially because they had already granted the first place of the group and because Marc Wilmots implemented several changes in the team. The Belgian side won 1-0, which may be considered a good result if we have mind that the European team played a large period of the match with just ten men after Defour was sent off.
For the match against the US team, Marc Wilmots will not be able to count on Steven Defour due to suspension and he is also not certain if he will be able to rely on the contribution of Vermaelen, who is apparently not fully recovered from the injury that stroke him.
As for the USA, the match against Belgium might offer them a ticket to the Quarter-Finals and it is fairly understandable that Klinsmann would like to replicate the US team campaign of 2002, when they reached that stage of the tournament.
The US team were somewhat underestimated as most of the pundits believed that they would stand no chances in a group with Germany, Portugal and Ghana. Regardless of that fact, Klinsmann’s men proved to be up to the task and they finished second in their group right behind Germany, leaving Portugal and Ghana with nothing better than an early ticket to return home.
If one considers both teams' World Cup qualification campaign, Belgium have to be consider favourites for next Tuesday’s match. Nevertheless, the US team’s game intensity and their splendid teamwork might offer them some chances against a less inspired Belgian team.
Stats: W-4 L-0 D-0
Recent Form - WWWWW
Stats: W-3L-1 D-1
Recent Form - LDWWW
Belgium (4-3-3) - Courtois - Alderweireld - Kompany - Lombaerts - Vertonghen - Witsel - De Bruyne - Fellaini - Hazard - Mertens - Lukaku
USA (4-5-1) - Howard - Johnson - Cameron - Basler - Beasley - Bradley - Jones - Beckerman - Bedoya - Zusi - Dempsey