Gold Cup 2013: Predictions for Saturday's Quarterfinal Action in Atlanta
The 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup will continue from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Saturday with a pair of quarterfinal matchups.
In the first matchup, unbeaten Panama will take on Cuba for the right to advance to the semifinals at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Wednesday. In the day's second showdown, two-time defending Gold Cup champion Mexico will play Trinidad and Tobago, with the winner moving on to the semifinals as well.
Here, we'll get you set for Saturday's elimination matches from action in the Georgia Dome.
Panama Set to Cruise Past Cuba
Group A winner Panama will square off against the last of the eight qualifying teams, Cuba, on Saturday in the first of two Gold Cup quarterfinal tilts on Saturday.
Which side will prevail in Saturday's first quarterfinal?
Although the Cubans are coming off of a 4-0 drubbing of Belize earlier this week, they will be overmatched against the Central Americans. Keep in mind that Panama has yet to lose in this tournament, while Cuba was outscored 7-1 in losses to Costa Rica and the United States.
If you're looking for a player to watch, 24-year-old forward Gabriel Torres has been a stud for Panama thus far at the Gold Cup, scoring three goals during the group stage, including two in his squad's Group A opener against Mexico.
Cuba's Ariel Martinez scored a hat trick in his country's win over Belize, but can he deliver against stiffer competition this weekend?
Panama has allowed just one goal through three Gold Cup matches, and before Tuesday's group stage finale, Cuba had just one through two matches.
Prediction: Panama 2, Cuba 0
Mexico Will Thrash Trinidad and Tobago
Mexico has won the CONCACAF Gold Cup two consecutive times and a record six times overall. On Saturday, the North American powerhouse will take on the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, which finished second in Group B behind Honduras.
Which side will take Saturday's second quarterfinal?
El Tri will be a heavy favorite in this matchup having built some solid momentum heading into the quarterfinals.
After falling 2-1 to Panama in the opener, the Mexicans have rallied to defeat Canada and Martinique by a combined score of 5-1. Meanwhile, Trinidad and Tobago needed a victory and three points against Honduras in the group stage finale just to advance to the knockout rounds.
For Mexico, Marco Fabian is the star to watch. He scored a goal in each of his side's three group matches this summer and is on fire heading into the weekend, per columnist Kyle McCarthy:
Trinidad and Tobago coach Stephen Hart highlighted the Mexican midfield - and Marco Fabian, in particular - as a strength in his presser.— Kyle McCarthy (@kylejmccarthy) July 19, 2013
With Fabian firing on all cylinders and Mexico having won two straight matches following a slow start, look for El Tri's attack to overwhelm Trinidad and Tobago in Saturday's nightcap.
Prediction: Mexico 3, Trinidad and Tobago 1
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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