England will try to build on their triumphant win over Iran when they will take on the United States of America in a Group B encounter.

England will face off against the USA on Friday in an attempt to top Group B. The Three Lions steamrolled Iran to start their juggernaut and they would be hoping for a longer stay in Qatar this time.

Their pre-World Cup form was not that great as an underwhelming UEFA Nations League campaign saw them losing their confidence prior to the start of this football extravaganza.

Apart from the Nations League, England’s luck ran out in the last two major competitions they participated. They lost to Croatia in the World Cup semi-finals four years ago, while they had another heartbreak in the Euro 2020 when Italy got the better of them in the final.

Gareth Southgate is under severe pressure to deliver this time as the Three Lions have accumulated a very capable squad in this tournament. But they will be aware of USA’s abilities, especially when the relatively unknown teams have stepped on the gas and are out to be on a giant-killing spree.

USA’s chances of getting to the knockouts could depend on this fixture as an unlikely win against England could open the door for them. They played a game of two halves against Wales as an excellent first half followed by a pretty poor second half saw them sharing the spoils.

The USA have managed to get through to the knockout stages unscathed in the last two editions they participated and they even held the Three Lions to a 1-1 draw in 2010. A similar outcome would not help them this time as they need to grind out a result in this match.

Team News & Tactics

England

There have been concerns as Harry Kane underwent a scan to determine the extent of his ankle injury. But he has passed with flying colours and will lead his team on the pitch.

Gareth Southgate is likely to field the same team that thrashed Iran in their first match. Jordan Pickford will be guarded by a defensive line of Harry Maguire and John Stones and they will be supported by Kieran Trippier and Luke Shaw, who will run their errands from the full-back positions.

Declan Rice will be the deepest midfielder, while Jude Bellingham will want to add more goals to his tally. Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling will get the nod on the wings, while Mason Mount will start just behind the pocket of space of the main striker. Harry Kane will be the sole man upfront.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Trippier, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Rice, Bellingham; Saka, Mount, Sterling; Kane

USA

Both Yunus Musah and Weston McKennie had a minor issue in the previous match. But they will be fit in time. Arsenal man Matt Turner will keep his position in the goal, while Tim Ream and Walker Zimmerman will shield the defence.

Antonee Robinson and Sergino Dest will try to build up attacks from the left and right sides of the defence. Tyler Adams will be supported by Weston McKennie and Yunus Musah, as they will try to overrun the midfield by putting in an extra man. Christian Pulisic and Timothy Weah will be feeding balls to Josh Sargent, who will start upfront.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Turner; Dest, Zimmerman, Ream, Antonee Robinson; Musah, Adams, McKennie; Weah, Sargent, Pulisic

Key Stats

  • This is the third meeting between the two sides in the World Cup and the USA have an edge with one win and one draw.
  • when it comes to all competitions England are leading with eight wins in 11 matches.
  • England blanked USA 3-0 in a friendly back in November 2018.
  • The USA are yet to keep a clean sheet against European teams since 1950.

Player to Watch

Harry Kane

Much will be depending on how Harry Kane performs against the USA. The Tottenham Hotspur striker played a bit deeper role against Iran, and his performance will be taken into consideration as he has been Gateth Southgate’s main source of goals.

Prediction

England 2-0 USA

England have a lot of firepower as all of their wingers registered their names on the score sheet in the last game. This explains their strength and USA will have to be at their best to stop Kane and Co. The Three Lions are likely to pick up the three points in the end.

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