Tonight is a big night for all members. If Panama finish off the job by doing not losing against so far pointless and goalless Canada, they’ll sit on a minimum of 7 points which will hand them Group B, and in turn a £110 win for all of our members and ourselves!
Panama vs Canada (8.30pm)
There is an obvious risk of losing £40 if that bet goes wrong, as a Canada win would mean both off our bets would not land. That said, I’m content enough that Canada are just not in the correct situation to even come close to winning a game like this right now, so think of it as we’re going to take part of that £20 ahead of a predicted win (if Panama do indeed go unbeaten). I think there’s a clear possibility of resting some key players, but give that 10 goal WCQ top scorer Blas Perez missed game 1 and only played the last 30 minutes of game 2, there’s not real reason to give him even less football going in to the knock-out stage. Tonight we come to another MLS ground where Perez recently scored a screamer, and he seemed very comfortable with altitude. A fair few of Canada players would have encountered the tough task of playing in this altitude with Vancouver and Toronto FC over past years. On top of that, and the obvious fact that lifeless 1-0 losses to Martinique and 2-0 loss to Mexico suggest they’re rather poor, Toronto have sent home Will Johnson and Simeon Jackson with an illness, amongst others. One of the remaining main threats, Marcus Haber, is 50/50 to start and not fully fit if he does play. Technically, Canada can still qualify as best 3rd place, but it will take a mountain turnaround and Panama are going to have a better XI regardless of who they start. I think I like the fact the bookmakers are really playing on Panama already being qualified, but winning the group should still be a target given the format, and Perez should play even if Quintero doesn’t.
Panama -0.75AH @ 2.56 with Pinnacle