PNK Stadium, Miami.
One of the most interesting semi-final pairings in Gold Cup qualifying will be between Bermuda and Barbados. Bookmakers have a slight preference for the home side.
Bermuda qualified for the final stage of the Gold Cup for the first time in their history two years ago and finished 11th. The team now sits 168th in the FIFA rankings, although they are as good as the national teams just above them in terms of players. Forward Nahki Wells is the unquestionable leader of the Bermuda squad, as he has scored 80 goals in the English Championship and has experience of playing in the Premier League. Young talent is also emerging in the country, with 20-year-old Kane Crichlow already signed for Watford although he has yet to play for the main team. Remy Coddington, just 17, recently transferred to West Ham U18, but he was not included in Bermuda’s final squad bid.
Bermuda expectedly failed to qualify for the first round of the World Cup with 1 win and 2 defeats in 4 games. Kyle Lightbourne’s side drew 1-1 with the Cayman Islands in their last game. Overall, the encounter was not the most entertaining. In the 1st half, Bermuda made a mistake when they conceded a one-on-one situation, 0-1. It was only midway through the 2nd half that Bermuda created their first good chance when Kyle Hall headed the ball into the penalty area to level the score.
Barbados are 162nd in the FIFA rankings, yet they have never reached the finals of a top tournament in their history. Most of the local players play at home, but some have performed relatively well in Europe. Nick Blackman has been playing for the national team since 2019, with a record of 12 games in the EPL and 20 goals in the Championship. He now plays for Maccabi Tel Aviv and has scored 3 goals in Champions League qualification. Thierry Gale, 19, is gradually climbing up the ranks of Budapest side Gonved, while Ryan Trotman is scoring for Den Bosch in the Dutch 1st Division.
Russell Lathapy’s side has performed well in the World Cup qualifiers, scoring 5 points in 4 games and finishing 3rd in the group. The team have never lost in their previous 3 meetings, and the day before they drew 1-1 with Dominica at home. At the beginning of the 2nd half, Emile Samovici converted a one-on-one situation with the keeper, before the opponents took the lead following a free-kick. Trotman and Gale were not on the pitch at the time.
Expert Betting Tips
The Barbados national team looked more interesting than their current rivals in the recent World Cup 2022 qualifying, with two players on the attacking line from Europe boosting the team ahead of the Gold Cup. The home side also have interesting performers, but even against the Cayman Islands, Bermuda struggled to create scoring chances. Recent head-to-head encounters also speak in favour of the visitors, with Nick Blackman missing in the last game. The chances of the Barbados squad seem to be more tangible, and we need to take advantage of the fact that the bookmakers don’t have much faith in them. I suggest betting on the following outcomes:
- Handicap 2 (0) for 2.50;
- Both to Score - No for 1.90;
- W1 to nil for 5.20.