England vs USA
England were dominant against Iran.
With results not always going the way for the big teams in this tournament, the Three Lions can take confidence from a commanding 6-2 win.
England mustered 13 efforts at goal, and scored with 6 of their 7 efforts on target, amassing an xG of 2.11 in the process.
72% possession is evidence of England’s intentions to control the game, and this is likely to continue against a USA side who afforded Wales defenders such as Joe Rodon over 60 passes.
Despite a dominant first half against Wales, the USA finished the game with an xGA of 1.55, with Wales also beating them in both the shots and shots on target department.
With England largely possessing more quality than their Wales counterparts, I expect this will likely be a challenge too great for a young American side that are still looking for experience at this level.
Bukayo Saka is a certain starter for England after his scintillating start to the tournament against Iran.
The young winger scored twice, and managed 3 shots on target against Iran. You would expect more to follow.
Saka averaged 1.20 shots on target P/90 in World Cup Qualification from a total of 2.70 shots P/90.
With England heavily utilising him, there’s every chance that he notches at least one effort on target against the USA.
Set pieces are so important at international level. At the upper echelons of the sport, a well-worked set piece can often be a deciding factor.
England forced eight corners against Iran alongside balls into the box from dead ball situations.
Harry Maguire always looked like a threat by outmuscling opponents. The centre-back conjured two attempts on match day one – a blocked shot and one veering off target.
Maguire averaged 1.2 shots per game during World Cup qualification, with 0.7 finding the target.
He’s also managed an effort at goal in 4 of his last 6 international appearances.
McKennie embodies everything that this young USA team is all about.
Pressing with intensity, snapping into tackles, it’s perhaps the most notable part of his game.
Against the Welsh, McKennie made a total of 4 fouls, despite the fact that the USA largely controlled the game. Against strong midfield runners in Rice and Bellingham, the latter being fouled 1.61 times P/90, he could well be in for a long afternoon.
McKennie averaged 2.16 fouls P/90 in World Cup qualifying, and that would do us nicely here.
McKennie fouls in last 5 games (all competitions): 4, 2, 0, 2, 1
Corners have become a serious weapon for an England side that possess a number of aerial threats.
Southgate’s side managed 8 against Iran and with pace and trickery on the flanks in Saka and Sterling, England have the ability to get in behind the backline and force corners out of the opposition defence.
England managed a minimum of 5 corners in 4 of their Nations League games this year against top quality opposition.
England corners in last 5 games: 8, 6, 4, 6, 2
The USA only conceded 3 corners to Wales, but they did concede 8 in a 2-0 loss to Japan back in September.