Predicted Lineups for USA vs Belgium in World Cup Round of 16 Game
In today’s match against Belgium, the USA — using the same trio of Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones and Kyle Beckerman — will allow the U.S. to solidify the midfield and keep as much possession as possible. While many have been calling for Bradley to be subbed since his seemingly poor performances, it doesn’t seem likely Klinsmann will bench one of his key players.
It’s uncertain what Jozy Altidore’s role will be in the upcoming match, although Klinsmann has been quoted as saying that he’s “ready and available.” It’s doubtful Altidore will start considering the injury he sustained in the first group match against Ghana. However many believe he will make a late appearance. The U.S. will benefit from the physicality he provides, and will need it against Belgium’s defense that features four centrebacks.
In terms of the U.S.’s defense, supporters can expect to see very little change. The only true question that is to be expected is whether to choose Geoff Cameron or Omar Gonzalez? Gonzalez turned in an admirable performance against a strong Germany after Cameron’s lackluster display versus Portugal; however, Cameron does have more experience under his belt playing against many of Belgium’s Premier League faces. He’s one of the few on the U.S.’s side who has faced the likes of Fellaini, Hazard, Mirallas, and Kompany (who may not even see the field on Tuesday due to an untimely groin strain). Due to this level of knowledge and playing time, it’s quite certain Cameron will play at center back ahead of Gonzalez, despite Cameron’s tendency to play at right back for Stoke City.
As for substitutes, Klinsmann will probably send in Yedlin at some point and push Johnson forward, as they both have worked well with one another and Yedlin especially has surprised many by bringing in some much-needed speed and being a threat on the right-hand side. Most likely, we will also see an appearance by Davis to try and ease some pressure off Zusi and provide crosses up top.
If Altidore somehow still is unable to come in for the USA, then Wondolowski will be the forward to send in at some point in the second half. More often than not, Wondo has become the player to rely on as a super sub for the national team — someone who can pounce on the ball and get a late goal when needed. He still has that air of anonymity on a stage as big as this one. Very few teams will know what to expect from him when he enters.
USA starting XI (predicted)
Belgium starting XI (predicted)