Qatar 2022: England-USA specials

After an electric start to their World Cup campaign with a 6-2 win over Iran, England play their second Group B game against the USA on Friday night in Al Khor.

Putting behind them a run of bad form this year, the Three Lions will be buoyant in a 12th meeting against Gregg Berhalter’s men who were held late versus Wales on Sunday.

Carrying one of the biggest threats of any side in the tournament through wide play, Gareth Southgate has a raft of options at his disposal but two-goal Bukayo Saka will again be a key figure here.

For the Arsenal man to score and England to win, an 11/4 price with BoyleSports can be snagged, or, an England win with BTTS at 14/5 with SpreadEx might be a more thoughtful approach.

The two sides either side of the Atlantic have met twice before in the World Cup and their last meeting in 2010 saw a 1-1 draw, punctuated by Rob Green’s fumbled stop that let Clint Dempsey in for a point in Rustenburg 12 years ago, after Steven Gerrard’s fourth-minute opener.

Could we again see an early goal in the shadows of Doha this time around? For a goal between 0-15 minutes to occur, a 5/2 shot with Betway is available.

For the US, Christian Pulisic retains the chief threat and the Chelsea man will be keen to remind the country of his employment of his potency, despite having become a peripheral figure in the Premier League.

Pulisic will be a danger to England on the wing and to register an assist, William Hill are offering a very inviting 6/1 price. Alternatively, a Pulisic goal OR and assist will fetch an 11/4 boosted offer with Betfair.

Sticking with the same bookie, both Timothy Weah and Jude Bellingham were on the scoresheet in their respective opening Group games and for both men to have 1+ SOT, a 9/2 bet looks favourable.

This contest is very likely to be dominated by the counter-attack with both sides playing particularly high lines. Though England were dominant against Iran – dubious VAR calls aside for the penalty – conceding two goals did nothing to disperse defensive concerns and Harry Maguire will be under scrutiny.

With the width the US have and their play through the middle, the Manchester United defender will be tested and for Maguire to be carded can be snapped up with SpreadEx at a price of 17/5.

At the other end, Maguire will of course be a menace and we feel this could be his time to pounce against a porous back line that has struggled aerially in the past. A Maguire anytime goal carries welcoming 12/1 value with VBet, while to score with his head, a longer 20/1 shot with SkyBet is on the table.

Finally, returning to the cards menu, Jesus Valenzuela will be the man in charge on Friday night and the Venezuelan has shown at least six yellow cards in his last four games in the middle.

Given the Americans are a fairly physical outfit, for the game to see over 50 booking points, 6/5 odds with SkyBet look more than attainable, or even to push to 60 for at 2/1.

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