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World Cup: Why USA can be the big upset in round two

| 29.06.2014

A quick glimpse at the fixtures for the second round of the World Cup reveals a series of matches which look quite easy to call.

At first glance Brazil, Colombia, Holland, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Argentina and Belgium look primed to sail through to the quarter-final stage.

And, with a £10 bet on those eight selections returning a whopping £854, it is certainly an accumulator worth considering.

However, this World Cup has had its fair share of upsets so far and fans of Chile, Mexico and Greece will approach the upcoming fixtures in high spirits but it is the USA that looks most likely to cause an upset amid a wave for fandom never before seen in the States.

Viewing figures for America’s last two games have set new records for ‘soccer’ matches, eclipsing even this year’s NBA finals, and this new level of support has not been wasted on the players in Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad.

The US deserved their win against Ghana, were hugely unlucky not to hold on for victory against Portugal and were only narrow 1-0 losers to Germany in what proved a fairly timid game with both sides practically assured qualification.

America is often derided in the football world, with the sport lagging behind American Football, baseball, basketball and even lacrosse in popularity, but Belgium should underestimate Team USA at their peril.

True, the Red Devils have won their last two meetings, but their only previous World Cup clash ended with the Americans running out 3-0 winners.

And, with 12 of the US squad currently plying their trade in Europe and with Klinsmann at the helm USMNT are well placed to take on a Belgium side that has flattered to deceive thus far.

The US have fared well in recent times against European nations too, with the Germany reverse ending a three game unbeaten streak.

Of the last 15 games when America have faced a European nation they are unbeaten in 10, winning seven of those ties with victories coming over the likes of Bosnia, Germany and Italy.

With a clutch of Premier League household names Belgium are priced as the 5/6 favourites for the tie but Klinsmann’s disciplined unit could do more in one month for US soccer’s popularity than David Beckham managed in five years with an historic win next week.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.