England vs USA World Cup Match Preview, Betting Predictions, Picks: Favorites’ Firepower May Undo USMNT

Timothy WeahUSA are back in World Cup soccer action again on Friday (2pm ET), this time against England. The Three Lions will be looking to make it two wins from two when they take on USMNT, who drew with Wales on match-day one.

Can the U.S. rise to the challenge of beating one of the favorites for the entire tournament?

What did we learn from match-day one?

Prior to this World Cup, England had been in poor form, especially in the final third. During the Nations League, they had struggled massively, not only in terms of scoring goals but in terms of really putting their stamp on the game. Therefore, there were doubts over whether they could really hit the ground running in Qatar, even if they were up against relatively weak opposition in the Iranians.

Fortunately, the Nations League form was shown to be a thing of the past, as Gareth Southgate’s men made light work of winning their first game in Group B. Impressively, we saw an England team willing to get on the front foot, an England team playing high-tempo, incisive football, football that was far too much for the Iranians to handle. Sure, their first task was far from the hardest, but the Three Lions could not have asked for a better start, and they have certainly built momentum ahead of their final two group matches.

As for the USA, well, there were doubts there too, again over the offensive play. After all, they had failed to score in their final warm up game against Saudi Arabia. In fact, prior to their game against the Welsh, they had scored just one goal in their last three fixtures.

However, Greg Berhalter’s men took a front-foot approach on Monday in Al Rayyan, and such an approach worked. The U.S. took the lead during a dominant first half in which they were not only quicker than their opponents in every area, but more productive with the ball. Despite playing little in the way of club football over the last few months, Timothy Weah applied a timely and neat finish to a Christian Pulisic assist and at halftime the Stars and Stripes were sitting pretty.

During the second half, though, USMNT lacked conviction. They appeared to be caught between defending and going for a second. Defensive limitations were exposed too, which led to the Welsh penalty, which was decisively struck by Gareth Bale, who ensured that both teams left with a point.

What to expect from this match?

We are of course just one game in, and things can quickly change, but if the English can perform with the same vigor as they did on match-day one, then you’d have to worry for a US backline that looked like it could quite easily crack during the second half against Wales.

After seeing what happened between their next two opponents on Monday, Southgate’s men really ought to fancy themselves not only to dominate this game in terms of possession, but to put Team USA under serious pressure.

Against the Iranians, we saw England have a whopping 78% of the possession, and although things may not be quite as one-sided, they should see most of the ball in this one. Expect plenty of English possession, but unlike in the last few tournaments, there is no reason for that possession to be stagnant.

Back in late September, the Japanese made light work of creating lots of chances against USMNT. They scored twice and fired off eight shots on target. If they have looked at that, England’s attack-minded players should be licking their lips.

What’s the best bet?

Unfortunately, it is hard to look beyond another England demolition here. There was a real hunger and determination about Southgate’s attack on match-day one that suggests they can dismantle a less than secure-looking USA rear guard.

With players Like Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams and Brendan Aaronson in their midfield, the US will always be useful on the ball. Against the Welsh, we saw that they are capable of knitting together nice passing moves and they certainly did knock it about well in that first half. Moreover, with dynamic players like Pulisic and Weah in attack, they carry a final-third threat. However, that threat was not great enough really to hurt an underperforming Welsh team. That must worry Greg Berhalter ahead of a match against an England side that fired on all cylinders last time out.

A team with a more cohesive attack would have surely done some real damage against the US backline on match-day one, at least that’s what it looked like, so if the Three Lions get forward with the same enthusiasm that they did against Iran, then they ought to have far too much for the Stars and Stripes to handle. On that basis, bets on England to comfortably get the job done appeal.

Kane can do it

Somewhat surprisingly, Harry Kane was not on the score sheet last time out, but he was far from out of form, as he tied together many key attacks. What is more, he’s still a man in form with two goals in his last three for Spurs, as well 12 in 15 in the Premier League this season. He has also scored 14 in his last 17 for England, while in the last two tournaments, he has notched 10 in 13. Against an opposing defensive unit that looked anything but secure during the opening round of games, England’s captain can enjoy himself.

So these are our betting picks and predictions for this USMNT vs England World Cup match preview:

  • England -1 on the spread @ -102 with Bovada. It is -105 with BetOnline.
  • England to score over 2.5 goals @ +212 with Bovada.
  • Harry Kane to score any time @ +110 with Bovada.