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World Cup Countdown: CONCACAF meltdown in Brazil 19/1

| 24.05.2014

There’s now less days to go until Brazil than Sam Allardyce supporters at Upton Park, with 19 the magic number feeding our World Cup Countdown odds-o-matic.

It’s cranked out a doozy, with all four teams that qualified from the CONCACAF region to finish bottom of their groups priced up at 19/1.

With two of the four teams, USA and Costa Rica, in grave danger of bottoming out, and the other two, Mexico and Honduras, looking only slightly more secure, this is a bet that could quite easily land.

USA’s backline, admittedly in front of Everton’s Tim Howard, looks likely to consist of relative unknowns, some of whom are playing in the still-developing MLS such as Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler, and Premier League flop Jozy Altidore will lead their attack after scoring twice in 38 appearances for Sunderland last season.

Germany and Portugal should fill their boots against Jurgen Klinsmann’s side, while a Ghana outfit still containing the likes of Sulley Muntari, Michael Essien, Asamoah Gyan and Kevin-Prince Boateng, plus youngsters such as Kwadwo Asamoah and Andre Ayew, ought to prove too strong also.

Costa Roca may have one of La Liga’s best keepers in Levante’s Keylor Navas, but even he won’t help them avoid finishing bottom of a Group D that also contains England, Italy and Uruguay, while Honduras will have to overcome a huge weight of history to prosper in Group E.

The Central American republic has qualified for two World Cups in the past, including South Africa four years ago, and finished bottom on both occasions.

Mexico is clearly the fly in the ointment, having qualified from their group in each of the past five World Cups, but Miguel Herrera’s side are in something of a funk and have been handed a tough ask in Brazil.

The hosts will top Group A, and a Croatia team boasting Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic, among others, should be shorter than 6/5 joint second-favourites  ahead of El Tri.

Mexico finished lowest of the CONCACAF qualifiers at the World Cup, and came through a play-off after fourth-boss-in-a-year Herrera dropped all the European-based players from his squad.

With the likes of Javier Hernandez and Giovani dos Santos, who have had solid if unspectacular seasons, back in the ranks, it’s difficult to predict how they’ll get on against Samuel Eto’o and Cameroon, who have only lost one of their last eight matches.

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

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Alex Fortune