England vs USA Prediction
25th November 2022
22:00 Qatar Time/19:00 GMT
Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
World Cup Head-to-Head Record
Played:2 USA Wins:1 Draws:1
England vs USA Prediction Match Overview
England vs USA promises to be an intriguing clash. The English will be the happier of the two sides coming into this one after trouncing Iran 6-2 in what was billed to be a much closer encounter beforehand. The Americans will view their opening game as a missed opportunity to stake a claim for the knockout rounds and their task is now that much harder. Interestingly, it’s the US who has the upper hand in World Cup head-to-head games as a result of a famous 1-0 victory in 1950 and a 1-1 draw in 2010 following a disastrous goalkeeping mistake from Rob Green.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might not play:
Will not play: Maddison (England)
England vs USA Prediction Analysis
This promises to be a truly fascinating encounter as we don’t anticipate that either side will vary their tactical approach much from the opening game. The US under coach Gregg Berhalter don’t appear to have much use for the low block and they will look to play their normal, more expansive game to go toe-to-toe with the English. England for their part are expected to continue with their new-look four at the back with Rice and Bellingham in front. The system allows England to play an additional attacking midfielder, last time out Mason Mount was used in this role. Critics have long contended that Gareth Southgate was overly cautious with his tactical approach, yet it appears they have gotten their wish as the English were anything but cautious in their group opener.
While the USA were understandably frustrated with allowing a 1-0 lead to slip away against Wales, they can take heart from the fact that they dominated the first half and were deservedly in the ascendancy as a result of some fluid attacking play of the variety that Berhalter prefers. It must be noted that the Americans weren’t the same force in the second half following the introduction of Kieffer Moore for Wales, although they’ll perhaps be thankful that England don’t possess that kind of disruptive target man in their squad.
Southgate was slightly disappointed after the game in the sense that England allowed Iran to score twice after they were leading 4-0. Perhaps Mehdi’s first goal was a moment of inspiration, but to concede twice when coasting could point to a worrying problem with concentration levels. It’s unlikely that England will run into a shambolic performance in two games running, so they’ll still feel they’ll have to improve to ensure 6 points from 6 despite the 6-2 scoreline. Indeed, they will be craving more defensive solidity from this game to set a precedent for when they come up against the tournament’s better teams in the knockout rounds.
The Americans will surely be looking to exploit England’s attacking style of play because they’ve had highly publicised issues in defence, and with the likes of Christian Pulisic, Timothy Weah and two exceptionally fast full-backs in Dest and Robinson with Yedlin off the bench, they have the tools to counter at breakneck speed whenever the opportunity arises. The USA certainly will not be overawed and it’s unlikely they will be forced into playing with a lower defensive line unless the English manage to get in behind their back four repeatedly early on, in which case they may wish to make a change here.
It should also be noted that England pose a significant set piece threat, particularly from corners and that the Americans didn’t deal with the Welsh aerial threat all that well at times in their group opener. The USA must improve in that area or they will likely concede from a corner sooner rather than later in the tournament.
Both sides possess many impressive options off the bench, for the Americans they can call upon the likes of Aaronson, Reyna, Yedlin and Wright, while everybody knows about England’s strength-in-depth which means the likes of Foden, Alexander-Arnold, Grealish, Rashford and Henderson will all be attempting to force their way into contention for this one.
England Key Players
It might seem like a cop-out to pick Harry Kane as a key player every time England have a match coming up, but Kane is central to everything the English do. Despite not showing up on the scoresheet last time out, Kane was popping up everywhere to play others in, provide quality crosses from the edge of the area and generally proved to be a pain to pick up. Kane provides a point of reference for the English attack and a highly reliable outlet for others to play off as a pivot striker, and the Americans will have their hands full in keeping him quiet.
While Bukayo Saka grabbed the headlines last time out, Sterling grabbed a goal and an assist against the Iranians and we expect that Sterling in particular will profit from the space the Americans will surely leave in behind as they look to impose their expansive brand of football. A highly intelligent attacker who always seems to be in the right place at the right time, the English will hope that the Chelsea man brings his shooting boots in what we anticipate may be an end-to-end game of football at times.
USA Key Players
As England are likely to play with a somewhat high line, the pace and decision-making of Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic will come into play and will go a long way to determining if the US will get any joy out of these situations. Thankfully for the Americans, Pulisic also possesses an excellent first touch and is technically gifted so if he does receive a speculative pass at pace on the counter or the ball is perhaps hit behind him a little he can adjust and help them make the most of their opportunities.
As the Americans are expected to try to play their normal game to some degree, Dest’s ability to fly up and down the flank and recover in such time as to not be exposed will be crucial in ensuring the Americans don’t get caught out as the English possess some pacy forwards of their own. For an attacking fullback, Dest is surprisingly adept at defending for a young player and is committed to improving the defensive side of his game, so it is hoped that this dedication will pay dividends here in what might prove to be a tough assignment.
England vs USA Prediction
England vs USA, at least on paper, is an exciting match-up with both teams looking to stamp their authority on the game. The Americans will not be overawed by their more illustrious counterparts as they have players playing at the highest level regularly throughout Europe’s top leagues. England’s defensive vulnerabilities may well see them conceding a goal here, but we think England have enough about them to come through this one relatively comfortably if they can demonstrate the kind of attacking fluency they showed against Iran in their group opener.