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Thrilling England looking to make it two from two against USA
England to win 3-1
Tournament: FIFA World Cup 2022 | Venue: Al Khor, Al Bayt StadiumBet Now
England cemented their status as one of the favourites to win the tournament by setting down a marker in their opening game.
Iran were ruthlessly swept aside with goals coming from five different players from an England point of view. The Three Lions will have been disappointed in conceding two goals in the second half, however.
Now, against the USA, they have the opportunity to wrap up qualification for the knockout stages and continue their fine run of form going into the last group game against Wales.
The USA started in fantastic fashion against Wales, dominating the game with pace and power that their opponents just couldn’t handle.
However, after a winning first half, they allowed the Welsh to come back into the game and you’d think that the Americans would have been the more disappointed of the two with only a point.
You feel that they need to avoid defeat here.
FIFA Ranking: 5
Predicted Finish: Semi Finals
Reasons to be cheerful:
Ruthless performance against Iran will have boosted confidence
Goals from five players shows quality throughout the team
Reasons to be fearful:
Harry Kane picked up a slight knock in that opening game
Will have been disappointed to concede twice against Iran
Considering England’s rather poor form entering this World Cup, where they were winless from their previous four matches, this was something of a statement from their players in the opening game.
It was only Iran, a team that gave a poor account of themselves, but the manner of their win will have seen confidence spread through England’s camp.
The fact that the six goals were shared among five scorers is always a pleasing sight for the manager and he’ll be determined to use his squad correctly over these next two games.
The two goals they conceded will bring some cause for concern, however. The USA will use that as inspiration here. England are unbeaten in their last five against the USA, it must be said.
Gareth Southgate must continue to manage players’ fitness, too. Harry Kane picked up a knock against Iran but should be fine to play here.
Will Kyle Walker come in at right back? Has Rashford, Grealish or Foden done enough to earn a start?
Star Man – Harry Kane
Will have been disappointed not to get on the scoresheet against Iran, not least because he also had to come off with a knock. He’ll be determined to find the back of the net here.
FIFA Ranking: 16
Predicted Finish: Group Stage
Reasons to be cheerful
Were impressive in the first half against Wales
Pace and power of Weah and Pulisic can cause problems
Reasons to be fearful
Will have been disappointed to only draw their opening game
Defeat here will leave it difficult for them to qualify
The USA went into halftime in their game against Wales deserved leaders, with Timothy Weah scoring a fine goal to put them in front.
Their inexperience at this level showed in the second half, however, as they allowed Wales to get a foothold in the game and ultimately equalise.
Having said that, there is plenty of quality in this young USA side and they will fancy their chances of causing an upset against England.
The likes of Weah, Pulisic and McKennie all have direct running power and it’ll be interesting to see if they sit back and hit England on the counterattack.
Star Man – Christian Pulisic
The Chelsea winger provided a brilliant assist for Weah as the USA opened the scoring against Wales. He’ll be up against familiar opponents from his time in the Premier League here.
England will edge possession
Expect two or more goals in the game
England to qualify with victory
Despite having gone unbeaten in their last five meetings against the USA, this could represent a tricky test for England and one that will show their credentials more than their victory over Iran.
We can expect a more even game here. The USA have the pace and directness of play to cause England’s somewhat static defence problems, while the Three Lions will be brimming with confidence.
England are favourites to win their second game of the tournament, but it won’t be as easy.
England to win 3-1
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