Changes unlikely as England looks to seal passsage from Group stage against energetic USA-Xinhua

Changes unlikely as England looks to seal passsage from Group stage against energetic USA

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2022-11-24 19:23:30

DOHA, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- England looks to book their place in the knockout stages of the World Cup, while the United States aims for three points that would give them a great chance of making the last 16 when the two teams meet in the Al Bayt Stadium, north of Doha on Friday night.

England goes into the game with their confidence sky high after the 6-2 win against Iran in their opening game, although there are slight question marks over the fitness of captain Harry Kane, who suffered a heavy blow to his ankle against Iran. That prompted fears of a serious injury, although the captain was able to train with the rest of the squad on Wednesday.

Central defender Harry Maguire also has to be considered a slight doubt after he was substituted in the second half against Iran after complaining of dizziness, although he too was able to train on Wednesday.

If Kane and Maguire are fit, England coach Gareth Southgate is unlikely to make many changes to his starting 11, especially as the ease of Monday's win allowed him to rest several key players and give minutes to others, such as Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Callum Wilson.

The USA was excellent in the first 45 minutes against Wales as they pressured high up the park, and they are likely to repeat that against England, which is a different tactic to Iran, who was willing to sit back and play on the break.

Gregg Berhalter has an energetic side that created chances against Wales and perhaps should have had the game wrapped up before they ran out of steam in the second half.

Scoring goals is probably the biggest problem the Americans have, although they should be boosted by knowing that they have never lost to England in the finals, pulling off a historic win in 1950 and taking a 1-1 draw in South Africa in 2010.

Will it be the third time lucky for the English?