2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup Odds
While there is still some months to wait for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, there is plenty of international football on offer to get us through the summer months.
If the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup isn’t enough, the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup will also be hitting our screens - a tournament played between a host of countries in North, South and Central America, as well as the Caribbean.
This year’s tournament will see North American sides United States, Canada and Mexico, Central American sides Honduras, Panama, El Salvador and Costa Rica, and Caribbean sides Curacao, Martinique, French Guiana and Jamaica compete for the international trophy.
Teams will be split into three groups of four ahead of the tournament, with each side in a group playing each other once to decide who will progress to the knockout stage. The top two sides from each group will progress, as well as the two best third-placed teams.
The tournament is set to take place in the United States once again, after the nation successfully hosted the 100th Copa América tournament last summer. The hosts will be confident that they can reclaim the title that they lost to Mexico back in 2015, but there are plenty of sides that will be up for a fight.
It’s always hard to predict who will emerge victorious from knockout competitions, but there are a few sides that will go into the 2017 Gold Cup as favourites to add yet another trophy to their collections.
The United States were unable to go all the way in the 2016 Copa América tournament, finishing fourth behind Chile, Argentina and Colombia. However, they will be confident that they can add a sixth Gold Cup trophy to their collection.
They last won the tournament back in 2013, but only managed a fourth place finish in 2015. Their situation has improved since then and home advantage makes them favourites. However, this tournament will be Bruce Arena’s first major test since he retook the job that he left back in 2006.
Mexico will be looking to claim their fourth Gold Cup trophy in five attempts, having won the tournament in 2009, 2011 and 2015. However, past successes will not guarantee them victory. They disappointed at the 2016 Copa América tournament, suffering a lacklustre 7-0 defeat to Chile at the quarter-final stage, which exposed their weaknesses against stronger sides.
Mexico’s victory at the 2015 Gold Cup means that they will be travelling to Russia to play in the Confederations Cup. Depending on how they perform, could begin their Gold Cup campaign just 5 days after returning from Russia, and the risk of fatigue will be a huge concern for manager Juan Carlos Osorio.
Honduras’ last victory at the CONCACAF tournament came back in 1981, but they have staked their claim as outside favourites by claiming a surprise victory over Panama, Costa Rica and El Salvador in the 2017 Copa Centroamericana tournament.
It will take some doing for Jorge Luis Pinto’s side to steal the title away from United States or Mexico, who have shared the trophy between themselves since 2002, but they will be confident that they can maintain their place in the 2017 Gold Cup until the later stages of the tournament at the very least.