England v USA World Cup Betting Preview

11th June 2010 | World Cup Betting category: World Cup Betting & Odds
World Cup Betting & Odds

Saturday will bring together England v USA at the 2010 World Cup. It is the big moment that Fabio Capello has been working towards. It is now D-Day for the Italian, as he leads England into the lion’s den at Rustenburg. It is just over two years since Capello took charge of England, and has successfully, and impressively led them through a World Cup qualification group that saw them just lose one game, and saw Wayne Rooney and Jermaine Defoe explode in front of goal. Suddenly England showed a new attacking prowess, with goals flowing freely, especially against lesser ranked teams in their group. But the build up to South Africa 2010 has not been a smooth one for Capello, with the stress building around injuries and player’s personal lives, even the cool Italian has shown signs of cracking after shouting at invasive press pointing their cameras into Camp Capello. The England of today are a much better prospect than they were when Capello took over, even though the squad remains largely the same.

Throughout the warm up matches though, that attacking composure seemed to have deserted the English side, and there could be some edgy nerves around Rustenburg on Saturday, if England do not settle quickly. They were guilty of very slow starts in the warm up matches, and they run the risk of being caught cold by a spirited American side. So not only is this D-Day for Capello, but for a lot of the England players, this may represent their last chance of securing the greatest honour in soccer, winning the World Cup. What England do have over Saturday’s first opponents, the USA, is experience, and while England don’t have their ideal first team available, it should be more than enough to see their way past the Americans. Frank Lampard has been stressing the importance of such experience, with the players having gone through a lot of tournament football together, as well as individual domestic campaigns playing at the top level. How much does this count when it comes to match day? For certain it helps with composure and with playing games out safely, but England need to get off to a good start to calm nerves, and start building confidence.

Only Brazil have an older average age in their squad at South Africa 2010, and while people are wondering if defending Champions Italy are too old, no-one has brought the same thing up about England. First matches in big tournaments are often the time when upsets can be caused, as teams are a little rusty and naturally nervous. But nerves should not come into play so much, for the experienced side who have been there before, and who should be fuelled by past disappointments. Capello has said that he knows his side, and it is likely to have newly instilled captain Steven Gerrard in the middle alongside Lampard. It should be a dynamic pairing, but it is one which has not produced before, and would probably work better with a holding midfielder behind them. But Gareth Barry is not ready, and that means Gerrard comes back into the middle. The midfield is largely where the battle will be won on Saturday, as that is where England can control the pace of the game. They do not need to go out all guns blazing at pace against the Americans, they simply need to show poise and composure, and their skills will play around them.

What of the Americans? Having personally watched a lot of build up about the US squad, they are naturally confident, something you would expect of the Americans. They have come along way, with more exports playing in Europe, and rising standards of the MLS. There is some pressure on them to perform, even though they are not expected to win. They have a lot of belief that Tim Howard is the best goalkeeper in the World, and that they have a secret weapon in striker Edison Buddle, backed up by youngster Jozy Altidore and Landon Donovan drifting in from the left. However, there is no way, on the evidence of having watched the Americans play their warm up matches, that their defence is capable of stopping England’s heart, Wayne Rooney. A lot of the USA’s focus at the back has been surrounding Oguchi (Gooch) Onyewu. He is the big solid centre half that would be battling Rooney and Heskey, but, quite frankly, he has been making his way back from a knee injury, and he has looked well short on pace, positing and ability. It will be a big risk for US coach Bob Bradley if he plays him. He will not get close to Rooney.

Landon Donovan going up against Glen Johnson, who is not the most tactically astute defender in the England set up, should be very interesting. If England snuff Donovan out of the game, there goes their inspiration and link up. Frankly, England should not be troubled by the USA attack at all, even if Ledley King is partnering John Terry at the back, which means that there won’t be a lot of pace there. The key is simply the England midfield doing their job tracking back, which may be difficult for Gerrard and Lampard who naturally like to get forward. The USA will be physical and will exert a lot of effort, but as seen in their build up, their energy is often wasted with lack of technical ability to play the right ball, and use what is in front of them. They don’t have a great deal going forward, certainly not anything that England should be concerned about, as they lack a creative, crisp game plan in transition from front to back. But this is the World Cup opener for these two teams, from which, different things are expected at South Africa 2010. The time is now for Fabio Capello to display his famous tactical genius, and time for the England players to deliver for their nation. A nation expects.

England v USA Betting Stats

Last 5 Matches
England 2, Japan 1
England 3, Mexico 1
England 3, Egypt 1
Brazil 1, England 0
England 3, Belarus 0

USA 3, Australia 1
USA 2, Turkey 1
USA 2, Czech Republic 4
Holland 2, USA 1
USA 1, Honduras 3

Last 5 Match Goals
England: 11 For, 4 Against
USA: 9 For, 10 Against

Recent Stats
England: P50, W33, D8, L9 with a 66.0% win percentage
USA: P45, W18, D6, L21 with a 40.0% win percentage

World Cup Stats
England: P55, W25, D17, L13, GF74, GA47
USA: P25, W6, D3, L16, GF27, GA51

Match Odds
England to win: 8/15 at Paddy Power
Draw: 10/3 at BetFred
USA to win: 13/2 at Totesport

Asian Handicap Betting Tip: England are expected to win comfortably, wherever you look at the best bookmakers for betting on the World Cup. Therefore, it is going to be tough to find a lot of profit by backing England, unless you go big of course. Best chance of profit would be taking the USA in a plus, and there are range of semi decent value odds to do that. USA +1 is Evens at Bet365, but if you simply want to put all of your eggs in the England basket, then England -1.25 is 13/10 at Paddy Power. On paper, England should comfortably be two goals better than the US, it’s whether nerves on the opening game will get the better of teams.

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* All mentioned odds were valid at the time of writing. Betting odds are subject to fluctuations. Please check the current odds with the respective bookmaker!

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