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International Friendly Preview: USA v Belgium
May 27, 2013 11:18 PM GMT
United States and Belgium will meet in Cleveland on Wednesday both looking to build momentum ahead of upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Jurgen Klinsmann's men sit third in their CONCACAF qualifying group and require a top-three finish in order to reach the tournament in Brazil next year.
Belgium, meanwhile, sit top of Group A in the UEFA qualification section and will be out to maintain their advantage when they take on Serbia next.
Marc Wilmots' men have yet to lose a game in qualifying so far, and have tasted defeat in just two of their last 10 internationals.
By contrast, the United States have struggled in recent times. Klinsmann's men fell to defeat against Honduras in qualifying in February and have won only once in their last five outings.
The hosts will be hoping for an improvement at the FirstEnergy Stadium and will likely place the onus on attacking midfielder Clint Dempsey.
Tottenham's Dempsey has scored 32 goals for the United States in his international career, and has netted all their goals in the fourth and final round of qualifying so far.
Jozy Altidore will also be hoping to get among the goals for his country after an impressive campaign at club level. The AZ Alkmaar man found the net 31 times for the Eredivisie outfit in 2012-13 and helped them to victory in the KNVB Cup final by scoring the second goal in a 2-1 win over PSV Eindhoven.
However, despite being blessed with considerable attacking talent, the hosts will likely go into the contest as underdogs against a Belgium side filled with players setting high standards across a number of European leagues.
Eden Hazard and Christian Benteke are the standout names in terms of attack but, with the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaini also available for selection, Wilmots has plenty of talent to call on.