The round of 16 kicks off today and the winner of the earlier game between Uruguay and South Korea will meet the victor between USA and Ghana. The opponents in the game below will know their quarterfinal opponent before kick-off.
USA - Ghana.
The Americans managed to finish first in their group on top of England by playing some relatively good football and showing enough fight to come from 0-2 down against the Slovenians. They may have only really qualified for the round of 16 with a 90th minute goal against Algeria but they should’ve been ahead in that game from much earlier on. Forward Robbie Findley has served his suspension and is available for selection should he be preferred to Edson Buddle. There is a question mark over the second spot in central midfield alongside Bradley, with the head coach having plenty of choices. My view is that he will stick with Clark, who did quite well against England although I wouldn’t rule out the use of Edu. Their formation relies heavily on Donovan and Altidore, particularly the former who is really their only world class player. There is a bit of history between the nations as it was Ghana who knocked them out of the last World Cup.
Ghana are the only African nation to remain in the competition and will have the support of the local population, which has some significance. Footballing wise Ghana have been disappointing to date with just 2 penalties against teams playing with 10 men. Against Serbia and Australia they were not convincing with their performances despite the opposition being down to 10 men. Their display against Germany wasn’t that particularly good either. There is a problem up as their sole striker Gyan is struggling. There is also the in fighting with Muntari, who is only being used as a sub by the coach and the morale within the team is not the best.
USA (4-4-2): Howard - Cherundolo, DeMerit, Onyewu, Bocanegra - Donovan, Bradley, Clark (Edu), Dempsey - Altidore, Findley (Buddle)
Ghana (4-2-3-1): Kingson - Pantsil, John Mensah, Addy, Sarpei - Annan, KP Boateng - Tagoe, Adiyiah, Ayew - Gyan
Selection: The Americans have a better team and wanting revenge on Ghana. On the other hand, the Africans do not have the best team spirit at the moment and look set for infighting at the prospect of being knocked out. But we must always remember extra time and penalties are a possibility. USA to go through.