With club football on hold and a lot of the focus on the EURO 2020 Qualifiers, we take a look at some eye-catching friendlies taking place this weekend.
Photo Copyright Steve Haag – Hollywoodbets
Saturday 7 September
Five-time World Cup champions Brazil take on Colombia in a friendly at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on Saturday. These sides last met in a 2018 World Cup Qualifier and played to a hard-fought 1-1 draw as Radamel Falcao’s second-half header cancelled out Willian’s first-half volley.
Neymar, the world’s most expensive player who missed Brazil’s Copa America triumph due to an ankle injury, is back in the squad which will give Tite’s side a massive lift. The Selecao – who climbed to no. 2 in the latest FIFA rankings – have a star-studded squad that should get the better of Los Cafeteros.
United States 43/20
The United States will face Mexico in a friendly at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The last time these sides stepped out onto a pitch was when they faced off in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final in July, where El Tri won 1-0 thanks to Jonathan dos Santos’ goal.
The sides also met in a friendly back in September last year where USA won 1-0 at the Nissan Stadium in Nashville, and prior to that, they shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at Estadio Azteca in a 2018 World Cup Qualifier. It’s usually a tight affair when these teams face off and I think that will be the case once again, therefore, I suggest taking Under 2.5 Goals.
Costa Rica 17/2
Costa Rica will host Uruguay in a friendly at the Estadio Nacional on Saturday. It will be the first meeting between the teams since September 2015, when the Central American team won 1-0 at the same venue. This is Costa Rica’s first match since they exited the quarter-finals of the Gold Cup, losing 5-4 to Mexico – who went on to win the tournament – after a hard-fought 1-1 draw.
Uruguay also suffered elimination last time out as they crashed out of the Copa America with a shoot-out defeat by Peru at the quarter-final stage. Uruguay are 5th in the latest FIFA World rankings, while Costa Rica are in 44th position. Oscar Tabarez has a strong squad that includes superstars Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Diego Godin. La Celeste are tipped to come out on top.
Sunday 8 September
There will be no love lost when Kenya and Uganda lock horns at the Moi International Sports Centre on Sunday in Kasarani, Nairobi. It’s only a friendly, but this will be anything but friendly for these players that are always passionate when playing for their country. Both teams will play to win, and there is no doubt this will be a great game.
The Harambee Stars suffered defeat to Tanzania last month in a CHAN qualifier, losing 4-1 on penalties after the two legs ended 0-0 on aggregate. The Cranes, on the other hand, were dominant in their two-legged CHAN qualifier, recording a 7-2 aggregate victory over Somalia. A fiery contest is expected between these bitter rivals, but my money’s on Uganda.
Monday 9 September
Wales entertain Belarus in a friendly on Monday at the Cardiff City Stadium. The Dragons are 24th in the latest FIFA World rankings, while Belarus are languishing in 85th place. The White Wings have lost all four of their Euro 2020 qualifiers in Group C against Germany, Netherlands and twice against Northern Ireland, shipping nine goals while scoring just once.
Ryan Giggs will be relieved to have Gareth Bale fit and firing for Real Madrid again, while Daniel James’ red-hot form at Old Trafford would have excited the Manchester United legend. Giggs’ pacey wingers should wreak havoc on Belarus and exploit their defensive frailties. The Dragons are tipped to win comfortably.
Tips for Tuesday 10 September (Forecast Betting)
Argentina vs Mexico – Home Win 7/20
Jordan vs Paraguay – Away Win 12/10
Tunisia vs Côte d’Ivoire – Draw 2/1
Ukraine vs Nigeria – Home Win 17/20
Republic of Ireland vs Bulgaria – Home Win 6/10
Morocco vs Niger – Home Win 7/20
Tips for Wednesday 11 September
United States vs Uruguay – Both Teams to Score (Yes) 23/20
Ecuador vs Bolivia – Home Win 23/20
Colombia vs Venezuela – Home Win 7/10
Honduras vs Chile – Away Win 1/1
Brazil vs Peru – Home Win 1/6