American dream in last 16

  • By: David John
  • Last Updated: July 1 2014, 18:07 BST

Our tipster David John is backing the USA to beat Belgium and reach the World Cup quarter-finals.

Back the USA to beat Belgium
Back the USA to beat Belgium

Belgium v USA (Round of 16, Salvador, 2100 BST)

From what I have seen so far at these finals, Jurgen Klinsmann's vast experience at this level combined with that seemingly in-built winning mentality of every American has been a match made in heaven.

And I have every reason to believe that their story in Brazil will continue on Tuesday with a victory over the Belgians. They may have suffered their first setback with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Germany last time but the hard work had been done in the previous two games as they possess exactly the right attitude to thrive now we are at the all-or-nothing stage of affairs.

"We're excited about it and we'll be ready to go," said midfielder Michael Bradley, who also alluded to the meticulous preparation that Klinsmann will take this team through before stepping on to the pitch in Salvador.

Belgium took nine points from nine in qualification but did not entirely convince in one of the weaker groups. That is is not to say that Marc Wilmots' side is not without the quality to grow further but star names like Eden Hazard have been somewhat anonymous while striker Romelu Lukaku showed some real displeasure at his substitution against Russia having not found his stride either.

Wilmots has said he is "preparing for a war" in terms of the physical nature the USA could bring to the game and in terms of raw talent, the Belgians do have more at their disposal But the sum total of the Stars And Stripes is greater than their respective parts and a prep for this against Ghana, Portugal and Germany should have them nicely battle-hardened.

I fancy them to show that moving towards World Cup glory is more about the team than the individuals involved - they simply should be a shorter price to make the last eight.

Verdict: Belgium 1 USA 2

Opta Facts:

Belgium won all three of their group games at a World Cup for the first time.

It was also the first time they had won three successive games in the competition.

Only Iran (30%) had a lower average possession figure in the group stage than Jurgen Klinsmann's side (39%).

The last six Belgian goals at World Cups have come in the closing 20 minutes of games.