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Saturday, June 26, 2010

USA vs GHANA >>> Match Preview

Four years ago in Germany, USA would have qualified for the knockout stages with a victory over Ghana in their final group game but goals from Haminu Draman and Stephen Appiah in Nuremberg condemned them to an early departure. Nine Ghanaians and seven Americans remain from that contest but, in South Africa, an improved USA side are targeting a place in the quarter-finals, and a meeting with either Uruguay or South Korea.
Ghana have been Africa's leading light in a disappointing tournament for the country and have matched their feat of four years ago when they fell to Brazil in the second round. Milovan Rajevac's side have overcome the pre-tournament loss of Michael Essien but goals are a problem with a 1-0 defeat of Serbia and a 1-1 draw with Australia both secured thanks to penalties from Asamoah Gyan. To address that concern, Rajevac could hand a first start of the tournament to promising striker Dominic Adiyiah who was named Africa's young player of the year in 2009.

USA player to watch: Michael Bradley
Previously accused of benefiting from nepotism given that his father coaches the national side, the midfielder is very much a star in his own right after a brilliant World Cup to date. After scoring a crucial goal against Slovenia, Bradley was man-of-the-match in the 1-0 win with Algeria as he impressed with his all-round game. Snapping into tackles and launching counter-attacks, his was a box-to-box performance and reminiscent of one of his heroes, Roy Keane.

Ghana player to watch:
Andre Ayew
Another player who has lived in the shadow of a famous father, Ayew has some act to follow in Ghanaian legend Abedi Pele. Though his progress at club level has been slow, the Marseille winger is effective for his country and shone at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup and the African Nations Cup before appearing in all three of Ghana's group games in South Africa. Ayew is a sprightly presence out wide and USA will need to keep him quiet.

Key battle: Clint Dempsey v John Pantsil
The Fulham team-mates will indulge in a personal duel on Saturday with Pantsil operating at right back and Dempsey expected to play wide on the left for USA. Both men boast extensive experience and their contest could be crucial in the context of the game. Dempsey has impressed for USA in South Africa and Pantsil faces a real test in blunting his colleague from Craven Cottage.

This looks set to be a close contest and do not be surprised if it goes the distance. USA have shown their resilience in the tournament and could just nick it.

Take USA WIN 0-0 Handicap (Main Bet)

Take USA WIN 1 - 0 (Samll Fun Bet)
Take USA WIN 2 - 1 (Small Fun Bet)

Odds Centre >>> www.asianbookie.com

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