Preview: Haiti vs. Cuba – prediction, team news, lineups


For the first time since 2019, Haiti and Cuba will clash at the CONCACAF Nations League, with both sides squaring off in Group B action on Friday at Estadio Panamericano in the Dominican Republic.

Both teams gained a return entry in League A of this competition earlier this year, with the Haitians going unbeaten in their group, while Cuba only suffered one defeat on the B side themselves.

After a temporary stay in League B, Les Grenadiers quickly proved they deserve to be back up with the big boys of CONCACAF, having no trouble finishing top of a group which featured Montserrat, Bermuda and Guyana.

A pair of challenging outings to kick off their League B campaign seemed to serve as a wakeup call for Haiti, who began by playing Bermuda to a 0-0 draw, following that up with a narrow victory over Montserrat (3-2), before turning it on down the stretch of the campaign, winning their final four fixtures by a combined score of 19-3.

It will be the first Nations League campaign for Gabriel Calderon Pellegrino as manager, and in his first tournament at the helm, his side could not maintain the early momentum they had from a last-gasp victory over Qatar (2-1), following that up with defeats to Mexico (3-1) and Honduras (2-1).

La Selection Nationale won all three of their League B home matches played in the Dominican Republic last season, notching three or more goals each time.

Haiti never trailed for a single second during their Nations League B campaign, which was rarely the case when they were in League A in 2019-20 as this team battled back to earn a pair of draws versus Costa Rica, leading only once throughout that entire competition, though their 1-0 advantage versus Curacao lasted just 26 minutes, when the two sides played to a 1-1 draw.

Les Grenadiers have won three of the previous four meetings against Cuba, the last one being at the Nations League qualification stage in 2019 when a goal three minutes from the end gave the Haitians a 2-1 win.

Cuba forward Maikel Reyes (9) celebrates on July 4, 2023

Just like their opponents on Friday, Cuba will also be returning to League A this year and searching for their first-ever points in the top tier of this competition.

Their 2019 performances in League A left a lot to be desired, with the Cubans losing all four of their encounters that year by a combined score of 18-0, conceding four or more goals on three occasions.

Topping their League B group in 2022-23 was no easy feat either, as they lost their opening match to Guadeloupe (2-1) but won their remaining games, including a narrow 1-0 triumph at home against Les Gwada Boys on the final matchday.

After a disappointing Gold Cup campaign for Cuba in 2023, where they lost all three of their group fixtures, the federation have decided to go another direction, appointing Yunielys Castillo as the new coach with the goal being to restore some pride in a side who have not performed well in these continental competitions.

Since the beginning of 2022, Cuba have won all but two of their encounters played versus Caribbean opponents, losing twice to Guadeloupe over that span.

Cuba have lost every Nations League group stage encounter in which they had conceded the opening goal, but they also have a 100% record in this competition when drawing first blood.

Haiti form (all competitions):

  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

Cuba form (all competitions):

  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team News

Haiti forward Duckens Nazon on July 7, 2015© Reuters

Roberto Louima was selected to the Haitian squad for this international window but has not featured for the senior team since 2017, Eliader Dorlus will be seeking his first cap with Les Grenadiers, while Duke Lacroix made his international debut last June, playing the full 90 minutes in a victory over Saint Kitts and Nevis (3-1).

Carnejy Antoine led League B in scoring with five goals during the 2022-23 Nations League campaign, Mondy Prunier had four, Derrick Etienne and Frantzdy Pierrot notched three each, while Alexandre Pierre had two clean sheets and shared another one with Johny Placide.

Pierrot led them with two strikes at the Gold Cup this past summer, with their other goals from them at that tournament coming courtesy of Danley Jean Jacques and Duckens Nazon.

Ismael MorgadoAlejandro DelgadoRey Angel RodriguezJose Paradela and Christian Valiente were all selected for this international window and will each be seeking to make their first appearances for the Cuban national team.

Romario Torres picked up his first international cap earlier this year in a friendly versus Uruguay, and he made his Gold Cup debut in their final match against Canada, replacing Modesto Mendez for the last 21 minutes plus stoppage time.

Aricheell Hernandez had four goals to lead the Cubans in their previous Nations League campaign, Luis Paradela and Maikel Reyes each notched two, Sandy Sanchez collected three clean sheets, while Raiko Arozarena had one.

Haiti possible starting lineup:
Pierre; Arcus, Dulysse, Seance, Lacroix; Jacques, Sainte; Deedson, Dorlus, Simonsen; Prunier

Cuba possible starting lineup:
Arozarena; Morejon, Cavafe, Piedra, Corrales; J. Paradela, Y. Perez, E. Hernandez, Torres; Reyes, L. Paradela

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We say: Haiti 2-0 Cuba

Cuba have yet to show they can compete against the A teams in this region and could find themselves chasing this game against a speedy and well-drilled Haitian squad.

Haiti may be missing some of their best players for this camp, including Fafa Picault, but their cohesion on the field and overall depth should still be enough to earn them three points in this encounter.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


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