World Cup betting action continues with the second match day of the tournament on Saturday afternoon, and whether you are stateside or on the other side of the pond, the match between the United States and England is probably the biggest soccer betting battle that you have circled on your calendar in this event.
England vs. United States (+1, -115)
Saturday, June 11th
2:30 ET, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg, South Africa
England Notes: The Brits are going to be ready for this match, as they are hungry to get back onto the international stage after failing to even qualify for the 2006 European Championship. As proof to show just how much this means to the Three Lions, they qualified for this event with ease, scoring nine wins in their first nine qualifying efforts before taking it easy in the final, meaningless tussle to get here to South Africa. F Wayne Rooney has been fantastic during the entire qualifying process, scoring nine goals in as many matches. Additional pressure will be on the shoulders of M Steven Gerrard, who will be wearing the captain's armband in place of the injured D Rio Ferdinand. Though there is talent all over the pitch for Team England, the defense could potentially be shaky without Ferdinand on the back line. Still, the midfield is going to be dominant for the red and white, as that unit will be loaded with talented names such as Gerrard, Frank Lampard, and Joe Cole. The media is going to be all over England's case should this match be lost, and manager Fabio Capello knows that a slip up that costs him a chance at World Cup supremacy could also cost him his job when this competition is over.
United States Notes: Never before has there been so much hype surrounding a match in the United States. The Stars and Stripes feel as though this is the most talented team that they have ever sent to the World Cup, and the standard of success goes back to 2002 when the team reached the quarterfinals before being knocked out of the tournament by Germany. M Landon Donovan and M Clint Dempsey are both going to be subjects of high alert from the English defenders, as they are going to be doing plenty of advancing out from the center of the pitch into attack. Manager Bob Bradley knows that his team is going to be comfortable getting a draw out of this match, as that should set the stage for a bare minimum of five points to be acquired in the group stage of this event, which should see the Americans through out of Group C. GK Tim Howard plays his club soccer in the English Premiership, and many feel as though he is one of the most underrated keepers on the global stage. If he and his defenders come up large, the United States could be primed for the upset.
The Final Word: As we just discussed, this match isn't the end all for either of these teams. England has the added pressure of being amongst the World Cup favorites to contend with, but even slipping up and salvaging just a point from this match would be acceptable as long as three points are acquired from both Algeria and Slovenia later on in this tournament. These two teams aren't exactly friendly with each other, and we expect to see a very physical outing which more than likely ends in a draw. Go ahead and take the goal given to you on the Asian handicap, as it is difficult to see how the Brits are going to win this by two strikes or more.
Prediction: England 1 – United States 1