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England vs USA: Three Lions to maintain momentum

England vs USA Match Preview and Predictions

England face the United States in a friendly at Wembley on Thursday night in their first fixture since a stunning 3-2 victory in Spain.

[All odds correct at time of publication]

Gareth Southgate's men should be full of confidence after taking four points from two tough away games and will use this match as a warm-up for the return game against Croatia on Sunday.

The match has been officially titled the Wayne Rooney Foundation International, with England using the occasion to give their all-time leading goalscorer a Wembley swansong.

Match information

When is it? Thursday 15th November

What time is kick-off? 20:00

Where is it being played? Wembley

Which channel is it on? Sky Sports Main Event

England vs USA Betting Tips

Here are our best tips for Thursday's match for which we also have a range of other markets available:

The lowdown

The inclusion of Rooney in the squad has caused controversy and divided opinion. The 33-year-old will receive his 120th cap despite having not featured for the Three Lions in almost two years, although he will not start the match nor wear the number 10 jersey.

Southgate is not confirming how much of a role Rooney will have, saying: "I don't want to give an exact minute because if I don't get it right...there will be a bookmaker running a book on it.

Feature match previews for this week

If you're interested in tips on our featured international matches, check out our in-depth previews below:

"I think it should be appropriate that people are not heading for the tubes before he comes on and also we have got out of the game what we wanted and not taking someone off too early.

"We will look at all the players we want to look at. The football decisions are my decisions. There's players who have been with us who I feel need to play to make sure they feel valued.

"There are young players we want to see from the start - that has to be the start point. And then we are able to acknowledge Wayne's contribution after that."

Regardless of Rooney's role, England will be keen to mark the occasion with a win and are firm favourites to do so against a USA team that failed to qualify for the World Cup.

They have had mixed results since then, with a 1-1 draw against France in Lyon the pick of them, while they only lost 2-1 to the Republic of Ireland in Dublin.

In last month's international break they lost 4-2 to Colombia before drawing 1-1 with Peru so they should be reasonably competitive. Only once in the last 12 months (the 6-1 thrashing of Panama) have England won by more than two goals so the first of our England vs USA predictions is the Three Lions to win by exactly two goals at 11/4.

First goalscorer tips

England will hope Raheem Sterling can kick on after ending his international goal drought with his brace against Spain.

He has been in fine form for Manchester City since then and after going three years without a goal in an England shirt, the pressure has now eased on him and Sterling can be backed at 9/2 in the first goalscorer odds.

Anytime goalscorer tips

Set-pieces were a key weapon for England at the World Cup and with the USA expected to defend in numbers at times, they may need to be again.

Harry Maguire misses out through injury and that could allow more opportunities for John Stones, who netted twice against Panama at the World Cup and is 9/1 to get on the scoresheet once again.

Where the game will be won or lost

England have kept clean sheets at home to Switzerland and in Croatia since the World Cup and have proved tough to break down for all but the best forward lines.

The USA attack is lacking in star quality and failed to score against Brazil in September, losing 2-0, so we're backing England to also win to nil at 17/20.

The tempo is likely to drop in the second half, though, especially once the substitutions begin and Rooney becomes the focus.

England have often started matches strongly and faded in the latter stages under Southgate, with their pressing game requiring high levels of fitness.

The hosts will also be keen to avoid injuries to their key players ahead of the Croatia match, so the last of our England vs USA betting tips is the second half to be drawn at odds of 2/1.

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Andrew McDermott
@a_mcdermott in Football