If you go and ask soccer fans about the game they are most looking forward to in group stages of World Cup, England vs. USA would be a very popular answer. The history and politics of both countries make this clash very special. It is the opening game of group C and it will take place in Johannesburg, on June 12th, at 20:30 local time.
USA vs England Betting Odds:
Over 2.5 (-101)
Under 2.5 (-119)
England have been very solid since Capello’s arrival and they qualified for the tournament with no difficulties, convincingly beating Croatia twice. England have faced United States once under Capello’s reign and it goes back to May 2008, six months after Capello’s appointment. The game took place in London and England beat US 2-0. John Terry and Steven Gerrard were on the score sheet that night. World Cup is a different matter though. England are known to choke on the big stage, but this time it could be different story as they have one of the greatest managers of all time coaching them. Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard enjoyed their best season of their entire career, and both are in top form at the moment.
On the other hand, England’s centre back pairing, John Terry and Rio Ferdinand, have both had disappointing seasons which is a major concern. Terry has been involved in a sex scandal while Ferdinand has struggled with back problems all season. Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore can give England’s backline a good test. England also lack a world class goalkeeper which could be costly for them. US’ best player in their unexpected run in confederations cup last summer, Oguchi Onyewu, had a very disappointing campaign plagued with injuries this season. However, he’s been included in the 23 men squad despite a major question mark over his fitness and he will have a very hard time marking Wayne Rooney and possibly Peter Crouch.
In the middle of the park, the battle between Bradley and Milner would be interesting and the winner of that clash could affect the outcome of the game. Judging player by player, England are far superior in midfield with likes of Gerrard, Lampard, Lennon and Milner. However, USA have shown they can be very efficient and deadly on their day, so they shouldn’t be underestimated. Tim Howard, American keeper, can play a major role in the game, as he was a rock last year in confederations cup and helped his team reach the finals. England have what it takes to dictate their play to US and American defenders can be very bad on an off day as demonstrated by their loss to Czech Republic in a friendly game a few days ago. England’s superior talent will cause the Yanks serious problems.
USA vs England Prediction: most of the teams aren’t quite themselves in the opening game and take time to get better as the tournament goes on. United States have shown that they are capable of making upsets as underdogs, but I wouldn’t bet against Fabio Capello and the superior individuals of the English team. An entertaining game ending 2-1 in favor of England is my prediction.
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