World Cup Odds and Picks: United States Vs. Algeria Predictions
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 6/23/2010
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The play of the United States in this World Cup has bordered on schizophrenic. It looked overmatched in the first half against England but thanks to a lucky strike and a goalkeeper meltdown the Stars and Stripes had new life and made the most of it earning a tie.
Against Slovenia the 1-1 tie against England looked nothing short of a fluke after the United States fell down 2-0. The second half of the second game provided another new edition of the United States as an inspired side came out with an early game-changing goal three minutes in and then continued to pepper the goal area with blasts until an 83rd minute strike by Michael Bradley evened things up.
Hardly content with the equalizer the United States remained on the attack but was denied by a Slovenia defense and a curious call by referee Koman Coulibaly disallowing what would have been a monumental third goal.
Which side takes the pitch against Algeria on Wednesday at 10 a.m. EST at Loftus Versfeld Stadium is anyone’s guess, including coach Bob Bradley who has been on the sideline for the 180-plus minute roller coaster ride that has been the United States 2010 World Cup Tournament thus far.
Ranked No. 30 in the world entering the World Cup, Algeria has proven to be anything but a fourth-place group pushover. Its attack has been dreadful for the better part of its two World Cup games but it showed resiliency in playing a man down against Slovenia and if not for a 79th minute strike would be entering this game in the same position as England and the United States.
Slovenia leads the wide-open scene that is Group C with United States and England tied with two points and Algeria well in striking distance with one point. First place could still be had by the United States. If it wins and Slovenia draws, goal differential will decide the group winner.
Regardless of what Slovenia does the United States will advance with a win. If it draws for the third consecutive game then the United States still has a lifeline if Slovenia defeats England. If there is Slovenia and England draw then goal differential will determine Group C’s second-place team, either United States or England.
The hill is a little steeper for Algeria who needs to win. They would get through with a win and an England loss. If England wins, Algeria needs to win decisively as the tiebreaker will be between it and Slovenia who holds a two-goal advantage in goal differential.
United States vs. Algeria World Cup Odds
United States is in that unfamiliar role as a World Cup favorite once again. At -0.5 the U.S. is -130 while Algeria is +0.5 and +110. In three-way wagering the U.S. is also -130 with a draw listed at +240 and Algeria at +300. The total is 2.0 with the over -150 and under +130. Odds are courtesy of Bodog and Sports Interaction.
United States vs. Algeria Picks and Predictions
United States Will Win If: Its wakeup call comes in the locker room before the game rather than on the pitch in the form of an opponent goal. Nearly the entire starting 11 seemed to be waiting for a deficit before starting to play inspired soccer in both the England and Slovenia games. That formula resulted in two draws. A draw should be the last thing on its minds against Algeria. The United States will have to put together two halves of soccer to get a result, something that has not been seen since the early stages of qualifying.
Algeria Will Win If: Remains as stout on defensive as it has against England and Slovenia. That might seem easy for the Desert Foxes compared to its other challenge of scoring a goal. A packed-in Algerian midfield will have to counterattack and look for early defensive lapses by a United States defense prone to such things. The first 15 minutes of this game should tell most of the story.
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