Live Stream Info: BBC iPlayer (UK) WatchESPN (US) Likely Lineups:Bleacher ReportThe United States will be looking to extend their remarkable run in this World Cup by progressing to the quarter-finals, and they’ll fancy their chances against a Belgium team that have failed to catch fire in this tournament so far. Especially when you consider Klinsmann’s team are exactly the kind of opponent that Belgium have toiled against, too. The United States are compact, hard-working and exceptionally difficult to beat, and so far in this World Cup, Belgium have rarely showcased the guile required to break down these kinds of opponents.
USA vs. Belgium: Live Stream Info and Prediction for Round of 16 ClashMichael Steele/Getty ImagesAfter Jurgen Klinsmann managed to negotiate the USA team through the 2014 World Cup Group of Death, the pressure is off him and his team as they gear up for their Round of 16 clash with Belgium. But there is a growing sense that this American team has it in them to make a prolonged run in this tournament and that their Round of 16 opponents could well be there for the taking after some unconvincing performances in the group stages. Teams can grow into competitions though, and despite the disjointed nature of their showings so far, Belgium finished the group stages with three wins from three games.
At the back they look pretty solid, though. In Vincent Kompany the Red Devils have one of the world’s premier central defenders, while Thibaut Courtois is arguably the most in-form goalkeeper at the tournament after his fine domestic season with Atletico Madrid. Belgium have a pretty formidable record when the young stopper starts, as noted here by ESPN Stats & Info:Klinsmann’s team struggled for long spells against Germany in their final group game; completely swamped in central areas and unable to inject any impetus into their play.
Clearly wary of the strength of the German midfield, they weren’t quite as aggressive in their pressing, preferring to sit deep and restrict spaces in behind and between the lines. Altidore looks set to return from injury. Michael Steele/Getty ImagesBut they’ll feel a lot more confident of pressing a little higher up against this Belgian midfield, for it has looked a little imbalanced so far. Jozy Altidore will be back for this one too, and it’ll be interesting to see if Klinsmann throws him straight back into the starting XI for this clash or chooses to utilise his physicality from the bench against tired Belgian legs.
Up to now, Wilmots has had to utilise his substitutes options astutely, with Marouane Fellaini and Divock Origi coming into the game late on and making positive impressions. Origi has made a big impression in his substitute appearances. Ivan Sekretarev/Associated PressSo it’ll be intriguing to see what personnel Wilmots goes with in this one, but Belgium will need much more from their key creative talents like Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne if they’re to break down their last-16 opponents.
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