2014 World Cup: 5 Bold Predictions for USA vs Belgium

5 Bold Predictions for USA vs Belgium

Ghana v USA: Group G - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
Getty Images

The Round of 16 concludes on Tuesday with a highly anticipated match between the USA and Belgium. Judging by how the other Round of 16 matches have played out, this one in particular should be nothing short of highly entertaining soccer. Here's a list of 5 bold predictions that have a chance to shape the outcome of the match.

5. Omar Gonzalez will be the standout defender for the USA

Omar Gonzalez- USA
Witters Sports- USA Today

5. Omar Gonzalez will be the standout defender for the USA

Omar Gonzalez - USA Today
Witters Sports- USA Today

Gonzalez was one of the main reasons why the USA only lost 1-0 to Germany. Time after time he was bombarded by the Germans' lethal attack and he stood tall each time. The Belgians have a much different stable of attackers than the Germans do, but nonetheless still highly skilled. Gonzalez will need to be on top of his game to stop the creative Belgian attack and control his own box like he did against the Germans.

4. Jermaine Jones will score a crucial goal for the USA

Jermaine Jones - USA
Mark J. Rebilas- USA Today

4. Jermaine Jones will be crucial for the USA

Jermaine Jones- USA
Mark J. Rebilas- USA Today

A lot was said before the USA even left for Brazil that the team lacked greatly in World Cup experience. At the age of 32, Jones is full of valuable experience, although none of which has come on the World Cup stage. He certainly hasn't played in this tournament like it's his first time here. Look for the midfielder to lead the squad with another inspiring performance.

3. Eden Hazard will be the focal point of the Belgian attack

Eden Hazard- Belgium
Steve Mitchell- USA Today Sports

3. Eden Hazard will be the focal point of the Belgian attack

Eden Hazard - Belgium
Steve Mitchell- USA Today Sports

Say what you want about Hazard's play at the club level, but he has been somewhat of a magician for his country in this World Cup. Look for the American defense to have their hands full with the shifty midfielder as he attempts to supply the lethal Belgian attack with through balls as he has throughout the group stage. He will no doubt be instrumental if the Belgians are to push through to the last eight.

2. The keepers will be the heroes for both teams and force extra time

Tim Howard - USA
Mark J. Rebilas- USA Today

2. The keepers will be the heroes for both teams and force extra time

Tim Howard- USA
Mark J. Rebilas- USA Today

Tim Howard has been a rock at the back for the USA throughout the tournament, and that's no surprise to anyone. On the other side, Thibaut Courtois has been one of the top keepers of the entire World Cup and is starting to gain recognition as one of the hottest shot stoppers in the world right now.
Three matches in the Round of 16 have gone to extra time and both keepers should be on top of their games to force extra time and possibly penalties.

1. Jozy Altidore will play and score a goal

Jozy Altidore- USA
Winslow Townson- USA Today Sports

1. Jozy Altidore will play and score a goal

Jozy Altidore- USA
Winslow Townson- USA Today Sports

There is no bigger question mark heading into the match than whether or not Altidore will play. The Americans claim that he is "available," which is an incredibly vague statement. It would be a huge risk to play Altidore if he is not 100%, but if he is then his services will be much needed for the USA. Look for Altidore to come on as a substitute and sneak behind the Belgian back line for a goal that will put the USA through to the last eight.

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