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The odds for Canada vs Guadeloupe are provided by the Betway Casino. Head over there and get $250 back in bonus bets.
John Herdman’s side will surely prove too strong for Guadeloupe in Toronto.
The best online sportsbooks, unsurprisingly, have the USA, Mexico and Canada down as the three favorites to lift the trophy next month. Two of those teams, the Americans and the Canadian, recently contested the final of the CONCACAF Nations League.
The USA ran out 2-0 winners on that occasion but they, Canada and Mexico have all named weakened squads for the Gold Cup. The likes of Jonathan David and Alphonso Davies have been given some time off, with John Herdman calling on others to step up.
One thing Canada have going for them that the USA and Mexico do not is managerial stability. Gregg Berhalter is set to return as the head coach of the USMNT, but he will not begin work until after the Gold Cup. BJ Callaghan remains in charge on an interim basis.
Mexico have also named a temporary boss for the competition. Diego Cocca was dismissed after El Tri lose to the USA in the semi-finals of the Nations League, despite the fact he had only been in the job for five months. Jaime Lozano is the new man at the helm for now.
In contrast, Herdman has been Canada’s leader since 2018. He managed them at World Cup 2022, when his team performed creditably even as they exited before the round of 16. There is a feeling in the region that CONCACAF’s big two has become, at least for now, a big three.
Getting their hands on a piece of silverware is the next step, as Canada aim to lift a trophy for the first time since they tasted Gold Cup glory in 2000. They came close in the Nations League and are now looking to go one better.
Is bigger always better? The jury is out when it comes to international soccer.
The trend in recent years has been to enlarge various tournaments. The European Championship, the Asian Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations moved to a 24-team format.
The Copa America is poised to welcome 16 participants next year. World Cup 2026, co-hosted by Canada, Mexico and the USA, will feature 48 sides for the first time.
CONCACAF has not been immune from the expansionist urge. The 2019 edition of the Gold Cup had 16 national teams, up from 12 two years earlier. There will once again be four groups of four this time around.
For CONCACAF members like Guadeloupe, that is undoubtedly a good thing. The main argument against the expansion of tournaments is a dilution of quality. The principal argument for it is the greater inclusivity it promotes.
Guadeloupe have qualified for four Gold Cups in the past, so they are not exactly new boys. However, they lost all three group games in 2021 and had to come through the preliminaries this year, with victories over Antigua & Barbuda and Guyana.
In two of their four prior appearances at this level, Guadeloupe progressed to the knockout phase. They went all the way to the semi-finals in 2007 and made the last eight two years later.
Finishing in the top two of their group will be the aim again this summer, but Guatemala and Cuba will have something to say about that.
Guadeloupe, a French overseas department, has a squad containing a few players who ply their trade in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, while the defender Andreaw Gravillon is on the books of Serie A side Torino. They are clearly outsiders but Guadeloupe should not be written off in what is an open group.
Canada may be without the likes of David and Davies, their two most high-profile players, but theirs is not an entirely experimental roster. Herdman can call upon regular starters Milan Borjan, Stephen Eustaquio, Richie Laryea and Sam Adekugbe in the coming weeks.
This group of players should be good enough to reach the semi-finals at a minimum. Three wins from three should be the objective and it would be a minor surprise if Herdman’s team did not achieve that.
For Guadeloupe, this is a baptism of fire. Their fate is unlikely to be determined by a meeting with Canada in Toronto, but they will still want to give a good account of themselves ahead of more important meetings with Cuba and Guatemala.
That is precisely what Canada themselves did in their first game at the World Cup, when they lost to Belgium but produced a fantastic all-round performance that showed they deserved to be there.
Canada should dominate this match and a clean sheet is something they will be targeting in front of their own fans. Back the third-favorites to win the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2023 to register a victory without conceding on Tuesday.
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Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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