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My selection is on Jamaica -1.5 goals over Guadeloupe at 6:30 pm et on Friday.
We won plays supporting both of these squads in their respective tournament openers but here, I'll give the nod to Jamaica as it should outclass Guadeloupe by a considerable margin over the course of 90 minutes.
Jamaica jumped ahead early and while there were a few testy moments, ultimately prevailed by a 2-0 score against Suriname in its Gold Cup opener. The fact that it was challenged at all should serve as a bit of a wake-up call as it prepares to face another seemingly inferior squad talent-wise on Friday. Keep in mind, the Jamaicans can lock up advancement from the group stage with a victory here.
We won with Guadeloupe +2.5 goals in its opener against Costa Rica but were fortunate to do so after it fell behind by two goals on two separate occasions and also received a red card fairly early in the second half. That red card will result in key defender/midfielder Steve Solvet missing this match.
I have concerns when it comes to the Guadeloupe defense in this one after it looked rather disorganized against a slower Costa Rica squad than it will face on Friday. While goalkeeper Yohann Thuram was the hero in a penalty shootout win over Guatemala to reach this tournament, he has looked shaky at times and that was certainly the case in the match against Costa Rica.
There's a considerable class difference that I'm not sure is being properly reflected in this line, partly due to Guadeloupe's respectable 3-1 defeat at the hands of Costa Rica. Jamaica wasn't quite as sharp as it would have liked against Suriname but I expect to see a more cohesive performance here. While I like some of the pieces Guadeloupe has up front, most notably Mirval, Phaeton and Ramothe, I suspect it will have a different time breaking down a Jamaican defense that has the potential to perform better than it did on Monday. Take Jamaica -1.5 goals (9*).
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