World Cup Big5
England are one of the teams featured on this week’s World Cup Big5 - the second round during the World Cup. With more than £1,000 up for grabs, predict the outcome of five matches for just £5 and give yourself a chance of claiming the prize fund.
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For the third time at a World Cup Finals, historic adversaries England and the United States go head-to-head.
Back in 1950, a team of American amateurs caused arguably the biggest shock in tournament history, beating a much-fancied England side 1-0 in Belo Horizonte.
60 years later, Clint Dempsey’s equaliser, spilled by Rob Green, help the U.S. earn a ‘1-1 win’ in Rustenburg.
So, will it be third time lucky for the Three Lions?
Well, in the opening round of games, few teams were more impressive than England, who hammered IR Iran 6-2 on Monday.
They scored three in each half, with Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling all on target in the first 45.
Saka then curled home his second, with substitutes Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish completing the scoring.
This is England’s second-biggest major tournament win of all-time, only eclipsed by the drubbing of Panama four years ago.
So, here, Gareth Southgate’s team will be targeting another victory, which could wrap up top spot with a game to spare.
United States meantime were involved in a classic game of two halves in Al Rayyan on Monday.
Gregg Berhalter’s team dominated Wales in the first 45, and deservedly led thanks to Tim Weah, expcertly finishing after Christian Pulisic’s through-ball.
But, after the interval, the U.S. sat back and, with eight to play, Walker Zimmerman scythed down Gareth Bale, who equalised with the subsequent spot-kick.
1-1 it finished; a point is no disaster for USA, but it makes getting a result in this one of paramount importance.
Since that aforementioned victory over England 72 years ago, USA have won just one of 18 World Cup matches against European opposition.
Will England be simply too strong at Al-Bayt Stadium?
England team news
The big concern for England is the news that Harry Kane had a scan on his ankle on Tuesday.
This though isn’t expected to be serious, so the captain could continue to lead the line in this clash.
At the back, Harry Maguire was taken off against IR Iran with suspected concussion, so could miss this game too.
Given that Eric Dier came on for Maguire, he’s set to start, alongside John Stones, chosen over Benjamin White or Conor Coady.
James Maddison nor Kyle Walker were in the matchday squad on Monday, but both are edging back towards full fitness.
Jude Bellingham did start, becoming England’s second youngest World Cup scorer, and will be looking to shine here too.
Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Trippier, Dier, Stones, Shaw; Rice, Bellingham, Mount, Saka, Sterling; Kane.
United States team news
The biggest surprise in the USA line-up on Monday was that Josh Sargent got the nod up front over Jesús Ferreira.
If the Norwich City striker continues to lead the line, it seems likely that Gregg Berhalter will name an unchanged XI.
The biggest talking point was the fact Gio Reyna didn’t get off the bench, with U.S. fans hoping he’s being held back for this one.
Brenden Aaronson will also be a good option as a substittue assuming Weston McKennie is fit enough to keep his place in midfield.
Tim Weah is looking to become only the fourth American to score in back-to-back World Cup games, after Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan and Bert Patenaude; illustrious company.
Predicted XI (4-3-3): Turner; Dest, Zimmerman, Ream, Robinson; Adams, McKennie, Musah; Weah, Sargent, Pulisic.