England got its 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign off to a flying start with a 6-2 demolishing of Iran. USA let a lead slip away and had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Wales, leaving the second spot in Group B wide open. Can The Three Lions produce another spectacular display, or will the United States bring Gareth Southgate’s men back to reality?
2022 World Cup — Group Stage (B)
Date: Friday, November, 25
Time: 2:00 PM ET
Venue: Al Bayt Stadium, Qatar
Coverage: FOX, Telemundo
Few people expected England to come out of the gates with a statement win. But the Three Lions seem to have no qualms after a poor Nations League campaign and swept Iran aside, 6-2.
It might not have been the strongest opposition, but under coach Carlos Queiroz, Iran is normally defensively sound, so a win by that margin was unexpected.
Southgate has been criticized for his pragmatic 3-4-3 approach in the past, and the calls for change were vindicated with an exceptional result using a 4-3-3 (4-2-3-1) system. The Three Lions played with invention and a swagger that has been missing for some time.
Jude Bellingham provided the creative spark in midfield that England previously lacked in big tournaments.
They did concede two sloppy goals, and this will be Southgate’s biggest concern against a USA team that’s more of a goal-scoring threat. The defensive frailties and lapse of concentration are something that USA coach Gregg Berhalter likely noted.
The United States will be unhappy letting their lead slip after being up 1-0 for over 80 minutes against Wales. USMNT had 66% of the possession in the first half and perhaps should have had more goals, but they struggled to break down Wales’ defense until Tim Weah took advantage of his opportunity.
Tyler Adams was excellent in the first half, and his suffocating midfield play will prove vital against England.
The United States struggled with Wales’ tactical change after the break, with Keiffer Moore coming on for Daniel James and providing a more central attacking figure for The Dragons. They need to learn to adapt to tactical changes faster if they want any success against an England side with the likes of Marcus Rashford, Jack Grealish, and Phil Foden on the bench.
I think this could be an incredibly entertaining match between USA and England, with the potential for plenty of goals. Southgate will need to stick to a more creative formation and not take a cagey approach, even though USA has some strong attacking talent.
If Southgate lets his team come out and perform as they did against Iran, then I see England winning this match 3-1.
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Laura Paterson is a dedicated in-house writer for The Media Image. An avid sports fan and field hockey player, she gets her fix through writing on a variety of sports for BetMGM.