Friday, April 19, 2019

Prediction: England vs USA

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions 15 Nov 2018

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Verdict: England win and both teams to score

Best Odds: 9/4

Bookmaker: Bet365

Ahead of a crucial UEFA Nations League showdown with Croatia on Sunday, England will welcome the USA to Wembley in an event that will bid farewell to Wayne Rooney on Thursday night.

England

Starting with Gareth Southgate’s England side, after picking up their finest victory on forgein soil in recent memory thanks to their 3-2 win in Betis last month, The Three Lions are once again showing real signs of promise. Now unbeaten in their last three outings across all competitions, Thursday’s hosts also boast a stellar record when playing in the capital. Aside from their 2-1 loss to Spain in their UEFA Nations League opener, England have not lost at Wembley since March 2016. A positive 2018 as a whole, including reaching the semi-finals in Russia, Southgate could be looking for Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling to carry on his impressive start to the season. Now scoring three in his last two for the defending Premier League champions, the 23-year-old also bagged a brace against Spain last month. They will also be boosted by their very impressive record against the USA, England have not tasted defeat against Thursday’s opponents since a defeat in Boston back in 2003.

Team News

England will be without Kieran Trippier after he pulled out of the squad with a groin injury, leaving Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kyle Walker to battle it out for the right-back spot.

Rooney will only feature off the bench, which means that Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling – the latter of whom scored twice against Spain to double his international goals tally – are likely to start.

Fringe players could come in elsewhere, though, with Jadon Sancho hopeful of a first start and the likes of Callum Wilson, Lewis Dunk, Marcus Bettinelli and Alex McCarthy all potential debutants.

USA

As for the visitors, after a poor World Cup qualifying campaign saw them unable to book their spot in Russia, Bruce Arena resigned and was replaced by Dave Sarachan as interim manager. A side that is drastically looking to rebuild, the USA have now not played a competitive match over the past 12 months and their new coach has had to field vastly inexperienced sides. Coming off the back of a 1-1 draw at home to Peru last month, they have now managed to pick up just one win in their last six outings. The USA’s new boss has managed to win three of his 10 matches since taking charge. If the visitors are to pull of a seismic upset on Thursday, they will be needing to improve on their record away from home. The Stars and Stripes have failed to win any of their last five matches on their travels, a run that stems back to July 2017.

Team News

As for USA, they are expected to play a 4-5-1 formation which could include Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea loanees Cameron Carter-Vickers and Matt Miazga in defence.

Brad Guzan is expected to win his 60th cap, while 18-year-old pair Timothy Weah and Josh Sargent have both made exciting starts to their international careers.

Key Factors to Consider

  • England have an excellent home record as they’ve lost just one of their last 23 matches on home soil.
  • The USA come in to the match in poor form having won just one of their last six matches in all competitions.
  • England have won seven of the last 10 meetings with the USA.
  • Wayne Rooney will earn his 120th cap on Thursday.
  • During his 21 games with DC United, Rooney scored 12 goals and finished as the MLS sides top scorer for the season.

Conclusion

With Southgate likely to have one eye on Sunday’s crunch tie with Croatia in the UEFA Nations League, The Three Lions boss could field an inexperienced defence. Although the USA might be struggling to find a run of form, they have now scored in seven of their last eight, they have also managed to find the net against the likes of France, Germany and Colombia. While it is hard to see anything other than an England win in what could be an emotional evening, we do fancy the visitors to breach Southgate’s defence at some point.

Verdict: England win and both teams to score

Best Odds: 9/4

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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