USA vs. England Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg, South Africa 2:30 PM EST Saturday June 12, 2010
By Jason Green at Predictem.com
Match Odds: USA 6.50 / England 1.50 / Draw 4.00
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
Moneyline: USA +650 / England -238 / Draw +310
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In each teams first game in the World Cup the USA takes on England on Saturday night in a Group C match up. This game is important for the two teams that have the best odds to make it out of Group C.
The USA hopes they can have a repeat of their huge shock in 1950 when they beat England, who were the heavy favorites to win the World Cup.
England has a ton of pressure on them in this World Cup, as they have a solid team, like they usually do, but have not advanced past the quarterfinals since 1990. They recently took a big hit to their defense, as Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand hurt his knee in training and will not be playing in South Africa.
The USA has pressure on them as well, but not as much. Unlike the last couple of World Cups they are not in a very tough group. Besides England they are in Group C along with Slovenia and Algeria. USA can make it out of this group and should do so, as it will be a disappointment if they do not progress to the knockout phase. They can get off to a great start by beating heavily favored England in this match, but even a draw would be a solid start for the Americans.
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AT REDUCED ODDS AT 5DIMES
Much like the last few World Cups the English do not have a top-flight goalkeeper and if the Americans can get some good shots they have a decent shot to score an upset in this match.
Team USA Recent Form
6/5/2010 USA 3 Australia 1 (Friendly)
5/29/2010 USA 2 Turkey 1 (Friendly)
5/25/2010 USA 2 Czech Republic 4 (Friendly)
England Recent Form
5/30/2010 England 2 Japan 1 (Friendly)
5/24/2010 England 3 Mexico 1 (Friendly)
3/3/2010 England 3 Egypt 1 (Friendly)
Each team’s strength is their midfield, as Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan lead the USA and Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard lead England. The duo that can move control the ball and push forward will give their team a better chance to win this match. England may have the slight advantage in the midfield and on top of that Dempsey and Donovan may be counted on to score as well.
Even with star defender Rio Ferdinand out England still has John Terry and Ashley Cole. They will have to play well with the goalie issues they have, but I do not think they will keep the USA from scoring.
With the strikers that England has the USA defense led by anchor G Tim Howard will have to play great, as England will get their chances to score. They have Wayne Rooney, who scored 32 goals in 26 matches for Manchester United this season, 6’7″ Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe.
USA defenders Carlos Bocanegra and Oguchi Onyewu, who is recently recovered from an injury, have to keep the England strikers from getting to open space and making long runs. The duo is solid, but the English strikers, especially Rooney, are too good and will score at least one goal.
USA striker Edson Buddle scored 2 goals in the Americans last friendly against Australia and he has to apply some offensive pressure. He may be given space, as the England defense may key on Dempsey and Donovan. Bundles striker mate is likely Jozy Altidore, who is getting over an ankle injury, but will play.
Jason’s Pick: Even though England is the major favorite in this match the USA matches up decently with them and the Americans tend to step up and play well against Elite teams. However, England is simply too strong up front and I think they will score at least 2 goals. I will be betting on the USA since I have to go with my heart and my team, but my brain says that England will win thin match by a score of 2-1 or 3-1.