After an incredible win against Iran in the opening match, the English now look to secure their qualification to the knockouts from Group B by beating USA in their next match at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor today.
After getting so close to back-to-back major trophies reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and the final of Euro 2020, the English side under Gareth Southgate started their World Cup campaign as one of the favourites.
The fans can have high hopes after they thrashed Iran 6-2 in their opening match, their biggest win in the opening match of a major tournament.
The Three Lions’ second fixture at the previous World Cup was a 6-1 victory against Panama, who missed out on a place in Qatar as they finished behind USA in the CONCACAF qualifying.
Southgate’s team is in good form with Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling, Jude Bellingham and later Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish all in the scoring list, and they will try to carry the winning flow to the later rounds of the tournament.
Bellingham deserves special praise as the teenager provided a masterful performance playing his first World Cup game. He scored a goal but he dictated the play like a maestro throughout the match.
But their defence will remain a worry as they conceded two against Iran, who created little but made sure to finish. Harry Maguire went off injured during the match, but he is expected to be okay, while Southgate has said that their skipper Harry Kane, who was suffering from an ankle issue, is fit for the match too.
“Harry is fine. He has worked slightly separately from the group but all good for Friday night,” Southgate told the BBC. “He had a scan to make sure everything is fine.”
USA, on the other hand, will want Timothy Weah to score again against England, while looking up to Weston McKennie and Christian Pulisic to create the goal-scoring opportunities.
USA were able to qualify for the second rounds in their previous two World Cups, before missing out in 2018, they finished ahead of Portugal in the group to the second spot and in 2010, they topped their group ahead of England.
The two nations have faced each other 11 times across all competitions. England have won eight of them, scoring 39 goals. But the English are yet to beat USA in the World Cup finals. In their two meetings in the World Cup, USA were able to hold the Three Lions to a draw, and there’s their famous 1-0 victory of the 1950 edition.