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Jon Riley 22nd Jun 2010 - 10:00

Oh say can you see...America winning Group C?

Group C has seen fantastic goals, amazing skill and breathtaking moments of genius....oh wait, no we haven't. We've seen goalkeeping clangers, abysmal attacking and ridiculous refereeing.

One thing that can't be denied though is that the conclusion to affairs in the group should be far more gripping than the games that have taken place so far.

The USA began their World Cup campaign with a draw against group favourites England and followed it up with a 2-2 draw with Slovenia. Only a poor refereeing decision in the final stages of that game by referee Koman Coulibaly to disallow Maurice Edu's volley prevented America from winning the game and opening up a two point lead at the top of the table.

Algeria dominated their group opener against Slovenia only to concede a soft goal from Robert Koren. They didn't feel sorry for themselves though and in their next game produced a solid defensive display to nullify the English attack. Not only were they superb in defence but all over the pitch, causing Fabio Capello problems all game.

The United States have won their last two matches against African opposition, keeping a clean sheet in the process. The Stars and Stripes can be backed at 10/11 to extend their winning run against North Africans Algeria.

However, the USA are winless in their last seven group stage games in World Cup finals which could bode well for Rabah Saadane's team. The Desert Foxes are priced at 3/1 to be victorious and eliminate the Americans.

The US attack has consisted of Dempsey (11/2 first goalscorer, 6/4 anytime), all-time top-scorer Landon Donovan (9/2, 6/5), Jozy Altidore (5/1, 5/4) and Robbie Findley. Findley though is suspended which could mean a reshuffle of the team for coach Bob Bradley. Clint Dempsey could play in an advanced role, as he did in the second half against Slovenia, with Benny Feilhaber coming into midfield.

Algeria are yet to score a single goal in their last four World Cup matches including their first two games in South Africa but if they show the same passion and determination as they did against England then I'm sure the rewards won't be too long in coming.

Rafik Djebbour is 8/1 to open the scoring and 11/4 to notch anytime. Returning from suspension and with something to prove is Abdelkader Ghezzal. Sent off against Slovenia for two silly bookings the striker will feel he owes his team mates a goal. He is also priced 8/1 and 11/4 in the respective markets.

An outside bet could be for Madjid Bougherra to score at anytime. The Rangers defender is comfortable on the ball and is renowned for his marauding runs up the Ibrox pitch. At 16/1 I have a sneaking suspicion that Bougherra could just pop up with a crucial goal.

I feel that this game is going to be very close. A draw is the most likely option at 5/2 but I feel that one team could edge it, and I'm inclined to side with USA. Their robust style should see them through.

I'm going to say 1-0 to the Yanks which is priced at 11/2 in the correct score market.

 

 
 
 

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