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United States vs. England Betting Preview

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Jun/11/2010
United States vs. England Betting Preview

This United States vs. England betting preview is courtesy of our friends at Sportsbook.com.

Last December when it was announced that England would play the USA in their opening games for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, every soccer fan and bettor circled this game on their schedule. Here is a comprehensive breakdown of both squads heading into their initial contest of the tournament. Sportsbook.com has England as -200 money line favorites, with the U.S. +550 underdogs and a tie a +280 wager.

Goal Keepers

England - David James has been in superb form for Portsmouth and seems to have matured so that the "Calamity" part of his nickname isn't so prominent nowadays. James is a very good shot stopper and reads the game well, just needs to avoid venturing off his line and trust his defense to do the job. He has the experience edge over Joe Hart and Robert Green. Green is a very able back-up that will be solid. This stage may be a bit too big for Hart.

United States - Tim Howard has been a stud in the EPL for a few seasons. He's got a lot of experience at the international level and is the proven #1 goalie for the Americans. He is an excellent shot stopper that gives confidence to the defense. A team leader and motivator, he will be relied upon heavily in South Africa if the Americans are to advance past the group stage and beyond.

Defensemen

England - Glenn Johnson aside, one of the most solid and experienced defenses in the tournament which comes with more than dependable backups especially since Carragher came back into the fold. The weakest link could be Johnson, but Capello will have him on a short leash and go with Carragher or Milner if needed. If Johnson does perform up to potential he can add to England's attacking threat as, like Cole on the other side, he's fast, and likes to make surging runs. With a centre back pairing of King and Terry, England won't concede many goals. King's fitness could be an issue if he has to play back to back games, the will need Dawson to feature in some spots along the way. The loss of Ferdinand just before the World Cup is a big blow but it's not something they can't overcome.

U.S. - The back line is a settled group with the starters well established. There are two issues: #1 the health of Onyewu, their most physical defender who's coming off season long injury. If he is anything less than 90% they will be in serious trouble in the tournament. The second issue is the left back position they have some experienced but not very good options with Bornstein and Spector. It looks like they will switch veteran Bocanegra there and take on a smaller drop-off in central defense. Solid group that can get the job done but they are vulnerable to speed.

Midfield

England - Gareth Barry won't be ready for the opener against the USA but when he is, he will play in the centre holding while Lampard does his thing offensively. Gerrard is flexible enough to play on the right side and his long range shooting is a scoring threat any time he gets the ball inside 30 yards. Milner or Joe Cole are capable options off the bench. Carrick can fill either of the central midfield positions off the bench. Their quality and depth is what will win them games in this tournament.

U.S. -The midfield is the American's best compartment. They have quality and depth. They will play 2 defensive mids with Rangers' Edu and the coach's son Bradley in those central park positions, while speedster Besley looks to have recovered enough from riding the pine all season to steal the left mid position. Donovan gets the creative freedom to roam but is expected to lineup on the right as he did in his loan spell at Everton this winter. The depth will be called upon with Clark, another physical defensive mid, Torres and Holden two young but very creative attacking minds being the top choices off the bench.

Forwards

England - Huge expectations are being put on Rooney but he lives for this type of pressure and has proven he can deliver the goods. Expect his strike partner to vary throughout the tournament depending on matchups. Heskey is the ultimate hold-up man while Crouch's height and delicate touch will play Rooney in. If England needs Rooney to drop back a little then Defoe can be the go to speed guy.

U.S. -The front like is a bit of hope in Jozy Altidore, a very young but well travelled physical specimen penciled in to start alongside EPL standout Clint Demsey, a play in behind the striker type of attacking mid/winger. The injury to Charley Davis really hurts this team as they have nobody with that set of assets (speed, confidence, ball control) to replace him. They have some natural opportunistic poaches on the bench in Buddle and Gomez plus a horse that can run in Findlay.

Coaching

England - Capello has turned this England team around. Indeed his success is based on the fact that they are now a true team, all pulling for each other. He won't veer from the standard 4-4-2 too much unless it's to drop Rooney a little to play a 4-4-1-1. He has the tactical knowledge to go head-to-head with any coach in this tournament and will concentrate more on what England will do to the opposition rather than the other way round. Their biggest challenge is to get them over the hump if a penalty shootout comes calling.

U.S. - Bob Bradley is been leading the US program into the second straight world cup campaign. He is a tactically sound coach that can make adjustments but he rarely can surprise. The focus is on defense, the team doesn't have the talent level to go end to end with most teams in the tournament. Will always play a 4-4-2 formation but has the option to switch to a defensive 4-5-1 where he will overload the midfield with 3 defensive specialists if a result is needed. He won't hurt the team with his decisions but the upside is limited too.

World Cup Outlook

England should win their group and are -333 favorites to do so at Sportsbook.com. If doing so, that would set up a 2nd round matchup with Ghana or Serbia. Neither of whom will be difficult to break down but still beatable. England will gain momentum as the tournament progresses and they seem bound for at least the semis. They really can compete in this tournament and have enough depth to overcome injuries and suspensions. Still, there's something about their goaltending and defense that says we're good enough to win any game but at some point we will screw it up badly. Strong support from their traveling fans and they will probably get support from the hosts. England is 8-2 OVER when the total is 2.5 goals.

The Americans have the ability to get out of their group at the World Cup and from there on it's the type of tournament they like to play in. On any given night they have the ability to beat or be beaten by any opponent and that makes them a relatively dangerous team. They will be O.K. defensively if Onyewu is healthy. Otherwise they won't make it past the group stage. Scoring seems to be a concern pre tournament, but they have enough contributors on the pitch that they don't need the front line to carry the load. Most likely a round of 16 elimination is in the cards for a team that will be playing in some high scoring games. The OVER is 11-5 the last 16 times the ‘total' was 2.5 goals in US games.

Head over to Sportsbook.com to bet on Saturday's FIFA World Cup match between England and the US. And don't forget, the FIFA World Cup runs for a full month so there will be plenty of opportunities to bet on the world's most bet on sport.

Sportsbook.com is the largest online sportsbook in terms of number of customers in the world.  In business since 1997. Claim your 10 percent signup cash bonus here Always mention bonus code:  GAMBLING911

Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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