Our prediction for this World Cup 2022 match:
Guatemala and Cuba take on each other at Estadio Nacional Mateo Flores in the 2022 World Cup qualifier. Guatemala kicked off 2021 in great manner, with the team beating both Puerto Rico and Nicaragua in friendly games. La Furia Azul aim to give fans yet another reason for celebration, and we are positive that they will go for a win in Thursday’s qualifier.
The Cubans, on the other hand, have not been in action since November 2019, and, no doubt, the lack of time spent on the pitch could prove to be a big problem for the visiting team. Given Guatemala’s displays in 2021, we predict that the visitors are going to return home empty-handed. In the previous meeting between the two teams Guatemala defeated Cuba 1-0, which is yet another reason why we are tempted to put our money on the home team.
Highlighted Player (Juan Barrera):
Born in Ocotal, Nicaragua Juan Barrera started his senior career at Real Esteli. Barrera, who is nicknamed el Iluminado, then played for the likes of Villa Austria, Walter Ferretti and Tauro and in 2012 he rejoined Real Esteli. After ending his loan spell with Deportivo Petare, the pacey winger made 72 appearances for el Tren del Norte and scored 25 goals for the club, speaking of league fixtures. Juan Barrera then moved to Europe, signing a deal with Austrian club Rheindorf Altach.
In 2016 he joined Comunicaciones of Guatemala and he has been playing for the club ever since. The 175-cm-tall footballer made his Nicaragua debut in January, 2009 against El Salvador and he played an important role in the Nicaragua national team in the 2018 Qualifiers. Juan Barrera scored two goals in the process, in back-to-back victories over Anguilla.
However, Nicaragua eventually failed to make it to the final stage of the World Cup qualifiers. The winger made three appearances for Nicaragua at the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup as well, but he failed to find the net at the tournament in USA.
Highlighted Team (Nicaragua):
Nicaragua national football team played their first ever international friendly on May 1, 1929, with the team suffering a heavy loss to El Salvador away from home. Twelve years later los Pinoleros participated in the CCCF Championship qualifiers, but they failed to make it to the finals of the tournament. Nicaragua suffered a loss in each of their four qualifying games and, as a result, they finished bottom of the group.
The Nicaragua national football team have yet to qualify for the World Cup finals, but they did well to win silver medal at the 1973 Central American games. Los Pinoleros finished the campaign in second place in the standings, two points behind champions Panama. Nicaragua suffered their biggest defeat on October 17, 1975 when they were outclassed by Brazil (0-14) in Mexico City.
In 2015 the Nicaraguans recorded their biggest victory, with the team rolling over Anguilla (5-0) in front of home fans in Nicaragua. Nicaragua usually welcome their rivals at Nicaragua National Football Stadium.