Best bet for U.S.-England match
It’s a massive World Cup match in Group B on Friday when the United States takes on England. England won its first match 6-2 over Iran, while the U.S. tied Wales 1-1. Can the U.S. take home three points?
Our soccer handicapper Nigel Seeley and VSiN producer Matt Santos give their best bets for the match.
Nigel Seeley: First, a very Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers/followers and viewers of VSiN — I hope you are having a fantastic day with your family and friends.
This is a dream game for me. I am absolutely loving being here in Qatar at the 2022 World Cup, but things will go up a level for me personally as I attend this match on Friday.
The fantastic thing is here I believe the best pick is one we can all be happy with — and come away a winner from! And that selection is both teams to score at -105 odds.
USA followers may go into this game fearful after what for many of you will have been a disappointing draw against Wales. I say disappointing because the USA played superbly in a first-half performance full of energy and intent. In what was a classic game of two halves Wales after bringing on striker Kieffer Moore at half time finished the stronger and it finished 1-1. If the USA can bring that first-half offensive performance, then it can cause England plenty of problems and find the back of the net. Timothy Weah scored for Gregg Berhalter’s side, which really came out of the blocks fast. Berhalter will be keen for his side to start fast on Friday.
England knocked Iran for six goals and looked like scoring every time they reached the last third of the pitch. I am sure that USA will test England’s defense in a way Iran did not and Gareth Southgate’s back line still have questions to answer as this tournament progresses. Harry Maguire has had a terrible time at his club team Manchester United, losing his place in the side. Southgate has shown terrific loyalty by starting with him, but USA will look to target him, and I am sure and his confidence may be fragile if things start to go wrong.
Though I have criticized Southgate for being too negative in the big games, it is clear England has many attacking options and it’s is difficult to not see them scoring. They will look to put one foot into the knockout stage by beating the USA team and head into their final fixture against Wales with the pressure off.
The USA are unbeaten against England in their last two World Cup meetings — a 1-1 draw in 2010 and a 1-0 victory in 1950 that shocked the soccer world. If they are to get something out of this game, they need to go on the front foot and start fast, just as they did against Wales. With that in mind and with my defensive doubts surrounding England and Maguire, the play here is both teams to score at -105.
Pick: Both teams to score -105
Matt Santos: One of the most anticipated group stage matches is finally here, and while England scored a ton of goals in their 6-2 victory over Iran, I think there will be fewer goals scored in this match against the USMNT. It was disappointing for the United States to draw 1-1 vs Wales, especially when the three group stage points were there for the taking after leading 1-0 through most of the match, but I believe the experience that this young American team is getting in this tournament is building the foundation for their future success.
Their next match will be their toughest by far.
I have this match playing out with England winning 2-0, leading me to play Under 2.5 goals (-110). I have a hard time seeing where the USMNT gets its goals from. They’re not an attacking group with no true goal scoring threat, and are coming into this match having multiple players with yellow cards, leaving themselves vulnerable to England’s attack.
A play I believe has value is Jude Bellingham anytime scorer at +600 odds. The Dortmund center defensive midfielder scored England’s first goal in the 35th minute vs Iran with a beautiful header, and has now scored six times in his last 10 matches.
One situation to monitor is Harry Kane’s injury (foot/ankle) he suffered in the opening match. The Three Lions striker had two assists vs Iran, but went down early in the second half grabbing his right foot in pain, and plans to have his ankle scanned ahead of the match. If Kane is out, look for Callum Wilson to step into his role. Wilson is +160 to score a goal on Friday, which he’s already done vs the United States back in 2018, and is coming off a solid performance vs. Iran.
England vs United States – Under 2.5 goals (-110)
Jude Bellingham – Anytime Scorer (+600)
Callum Wilson – Anytime Scorer (+160)
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