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Fifa World Cup group B: England vs. USA preview, team news and predictions

  • November 24, 2022

Defender Kyle Walker was not fit enough to play the opener due to a groin problem, but “he is back in contention”, said Jack Rathborn in the Independent. Doubts remain over James Maddison, who has missed training due to a knee injury.

USA duo Weston McKennie and Yunus Musah came off against Wales, but should be fit enough to start against England. Borussia Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna will be hoping to force his way into the attack after “watching on as an unused substitute last time out”, said Oliver Thomas on SportsMole

There are a host Premier League-based players in the USA ranks, including Brendan Aaronson and Tyler Adams of Leeds and Christian Pulisic of Chelsea.

Possible starting XIs

  • England: Pickford; Trippier, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Rice, Bellingham, Mount; Saka, Kane, Sterling 
  • USA: Turner; Yedlin, Zimmerman, Ream, Robinson; Acosta, Adams, Roldan; Weah, Sargeant, Pulisic

Predictions

England are “flying” after their rout of Iran and the United States, while “lively” against Wales, crumbled in the second half, said Jack Rathborn in the Independent. Southgate’s side will “have too much here” and edge the match to move to six points. Prediction: England 2 USA 1.

Southgate and Co head into Friday’s fixture in “buoyant mood” and as “firm favourites to claim maximum points”, said Oliver Thomas on SportsMole. There have already been “a couple shock results” at this World Cup, but the Three Lions will be “confident of success” and “should have few problems in securing a routine victory over their American counterparts”. Prediction: England 3 USA 0. 

The Americans will prove “a tougher test” than Iran and Southgate will make sure England “do not get ahead of themselves” after scoring six for just the second ever time at a World Cup, said Alex Young in the London Evening Standard. Iran proved England “can be got at”, and USA certainly did as much against Wales. But the Three Lions’ “extra quality should shine through”. Prediction: England 3 USA 1.

Judging by previous USA results, “it’s hard to imagine they will find a way to spring an upset in this match”, said Kyle Bonn on Sporting News. “While they surely won’t end up battered like Iran, England will still find a way to breach the US backline.” Prediction: England 2 USA 0. 

The bookies make England the “overwhelming betting favourites” to defeat the USA, said Tom Dodd on Oddschecker. England come into the game off the back of hammering Iran and the sportsbooks “don’t give the USA much chance of pulling off the upset”.

The stadium

The 60,000-capacity Al Bayt Stadium in the city of Al Khor will host nine World Cup matches, including one quarter-final and a semi-final. Its design is inspired by the tents historically used in the Gulf region.

Squads

England
  • Head coach: Gareth Southgate
  • Key player: Harry Kane
  • One to watch: Bukayo Saka
  • Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Newcastle), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)
  • Defenders: Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Kyle Walker (Man City), Benjamin White (Arsenal), Harry Maguire (Man Utd), John Stones (Man City), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Conor Coady (Everton, on loan from Wolves), Luke Shaw (Man Utd)
  • Midfielders: Declan Rice (West Ham), Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Kalvin Phillips (Man City), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Mason Mount (Chelsea)
  • Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Callum Wilson (Newcastle), Marcus Rashford (Man Utd), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Phil Foden (Man City), Jack Grealish (Man City), James Maddison (Leicester City)
USA
  • Head coach: Gregg Berhalter
  • Key player: Christian Pulisic
  • One to watch: Sergino Dest
  • Goalkeepers: Ethan Horvath (Luton), Sean Johnson (New York City), Matt Turner (Arsenal)
  • Defenders: Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic), Sergino Dest (AC Milan), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Shaq Moore (Nashville), Tim Ream (Fulham), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Joe Scally (Borussia Monchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Miami), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville)
  • Midfielders: Brenden Aaronson (Leeds), Kellyn Acosta (Los Angeles), Tyler Adams (Leeds), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Cristian Roldan (Seattle)
  • Forwards: Jesus Ferreira (Dallas), Jordan Morris (Seattle), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Josh Sargent (Norwich), Tim Weah (Lille), Haji Wright (Antalyspor)

Group B table, fixtures and results

Monday 21 November
Friday 25 November
  • Wales vs. Iran (Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium; 10am; BBC/S4C) 
  • England vs. USA (Al Bayt Stadium; 7pm; ITV)
Tuesday 29 November
  • Wales vs. England (Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium; 7pm; BBC/S4C)
  • Iran vs. USA (Al Thumama Stadium; 7pm; BBC)

Article source: https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/sport/football/958614/fifa-world-cup-group-b-england-vs-usa-preview-team-news-predictions

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