Grenada v Qatar
Saturday 17 July (00:30 Sun)
Live on Premier Sports 1 and Betfair Live Video
Group D at the CONCACAF Gold Cup looks the most competitive with Honduras and 2018 World Cup qualifiers Panama joined by wild cards Qatar.
The 2022 World Cup hosts are continuing their development with an invite to this tournament, one which follows their 2019 Copa America appearance which itself came shortly after Asian Cup glory.
That continental success, which saw them beat Japan in the final, proved Qatar are not to be taken lightly and they should have more than enough to dispose of group whipping boys Grenada.
The Spice Boys, whose squad contains players from English non-league football, were crushed 4-0 by Honduras earlier in the week. That was the seventh Gold Cup game in their history. Only one goal has been scored with 29 conceded.
A team which lost to Bermuda during the recent CONCACAF Nations League should be picked off with relative ease by the Qataris, who are just 1/25 to win the game. They are also only 11/10 to score four or more.
So what’s the bet?
I like Hasan Al-Haydos in the anytime scorer market.
Often a winger, he played more centrally against Panama, supporting the front two.
He’s scored five times in his last 10 internationals, including four in seven in 2021.
The majority of those have come from the penalty spot from which he has been deadly for club (Al Sadd) and country.
In a game considered likely to feature plenty of Qatar goals, he’s worth backing at even money.
While they can be very threatening on the break, Qatar seem likely to have more of the ball in this game and will likely keep their opponents penned in for long periods.
Packed penalty areas can lead to spot kicks, especially given today’s handball rules. Five penalties were awarded in the first 12 games of this tournament too.
That strengthens the hand of Al-Haydos, although penalties are far from his only hope of scoring – he’ll fancy his chances from open play too given the porous nature of the opposition defence.