A gargantuan Group B showdown sees England take on the United States with a chance to solidify a spot in the knockout stage.
LIVE: Follow updates from USA vs England World Cup Group B match
Victory for England would give them two wins in two, and the six points would clinch a spot in the knockout round. Conversely, the United States could take hold of their own fortunes with a result, knowing a match against Iran would loom with their destiny in their own hands.
Gregg Berhalter knows his team have their work cut out for them to earn a result in this match, and while defeat would certainly not see them out of the tournament, it would leave them with lots of work still to be done.
The game — which falls on Black Friday in the United States — is one of the most anticipated matches of the World Cup group stage. Here’s a preview of how it could play out.
MORE: Follow all World Cup daily picks & predictions from The Sporting News here
While the odds make England — the fifth ranked team in the world — the most likely side to get the win, the odds aren’t maybe quite as skewed as you might expect for such a disparity in talent between the two teams. The United States are given at least a bit more respect than expected, and maybe more than they deserve going by recent results.
Bookmakers are completely undecided, though, whether there will be goals or not.
Odds via BetMGM (USA), Sports Interaction (Canada), SkyBet (UK), and LadBrokes (Australia).
The biggest issue for the Three Lions is striker Harry Kane who has suffered a knock to the ankle after the win over Iran. After having a scan, reports are optimistic, with Sky Sports claiming that England will name an unchanged side from the Iran win. Overall for the tournament, England are without full-backs Reece James and Ben Chilwell are off the roster due to injury, while there are concerns around James Maddison who has been recovering from a knee problem.
Miles Robinson was the only injury miss for the USA World Cup squad, but there are some concerns after he expending significant energy against Wales. Weston McKennie was clearly not fully match fit and could see his minutes managed, and Yunus Musah looked spent as he was withdrawn as well. Questions about Gio Reyna‘s fitness after his no-show against Wales were batted away by Berhalter and the player himself, so he may feature.
MORE: Full injury tracker for all 32 teams at the 2022 FIFA World Cup
FIFA has assigned Venezuelan referee Jesus Valenzuela to officiate the England vs. #USMNT match at the #FIFAWorldCup #Qatar2022
Valenzuela was given the CONMEBOL best referee award in 2021. He dishes out CARDZZZZZZZ.
Officiating was an issue in USA vs. Wales. pic.twitter.com/Lbl2E68aXC
Judging by previous USA results, it’s hard to imagine they will find a way to spring an upset in this match. While they surely won’t end up battered like Iran, England will still find a way to breach the US backline.
Gareth Southgate was openly perturbed that Iran managed to get through at the end of their match, and he will place a renewed focus on England’s defensive performance here knowing they already have one foot in the knockout stage.
MORE: How to watch England vs USA in World Cup Group B match
This enormous battle will be watched by many, and could have serious knockout stage implications, especially if the United States manage to get a result. Unfortunately for USA fans, that could be a pipe dream.
While the United States will know a result here could make the difference between qualification and elimination, it’s hard to imagine them coming out with a result.
The USMNT has struggled to create significant chances in recent matches, and they come into this game having expended an incredible amount of energy in their opener against Wales. McKennie clearly isn’t fully match fit, and Musah looked shattered upon his 74th minute withdrawal, and there’s very little midfield depth to spell either one.
England should find themselves quite comfortable in this match, as long as they can handle the USA press through the first half-hour.
After the way England performed against Iran, many will be expecting goals from this game. Yet the over/under line remains just about even. Vegas knows something, and when that happens, sometimes we try to listen.
Southgate was openly perturbed with his team’s inability to hold the clean sheet against Iran, despite the hefty lead easily securing the three points. With one foot in the knockout stage already, England may be more defensively minded in this match.
The United States, meanwhile, also know that while securing a result could be extremely important, goal differential is also of paramount importance knowing they very easily could end up level with Wales on points at the end of group stage play. If they find themselves down with no way back, they’ll pack it in and try not to concede more.
While the United States may prove pesky in the opening 45 minutes with their press, they have been terrible after halftime in recent memory.
Berhalter has not been timely with his substitutions, out-coached in the second half by Wales boss Rob Page just days ago. Meanwhile, the lack of midfield depth serves to leave the United States sucking wind late in the match as well.
Conversely, England have been better in the second half of matches. While they conceded late to Iran once the game had already been decided, that surely won’t be the case here and they’ll be motivated to keep the clean sheet.