2010 FIFA World Cup Preview: England Vs. USA

Ed Wyman@@edwymanCorrespondent IJune 12, 2010

Later today, England and the United States will face off in their opening group match.

The USA will be hoping to repeat their famous 1950 triumph over England and if they can get off to a winning start, they'll be in a good position to progress to the later stages of the tournament.

England will be looking to kick start their campaign as they hope to mount a serious challenge for the trophy. They are widely regarded as the favourites but do acknowledge that USA will pose a real threat; Capello has described the match as "hard."

The USA proved they can topple the biggest teams after an impressive win against Spain in the Confederations Cup last year--England will not be underestimating their opponents.


Team News

As the footballing world has come to expect, Capello is playing his cards close to his chest.

Capello says he knows his team for the match but he won't name it until two hours before kick off.

This gives the USA less time to prepare for specific players and the formation Capello will use. 

He may play two up front in a traditional 4-4-2, or play Rooney on his own with Gerrard in a supporting role behind him.

If two are played up front, Heskey may well be the man to partner Rooney as he has been favoured in the past by Capello.

However, both Defoe and Crouch are in contention after impressing in recent times and Capello has even hinted that Gareth Barry may feature, although he probably won't start until he fully returns from injury.

All three of the goalkeepers are in contention to start. David James has been given the No. 1 jersey, but questions over his fitness and the efforts of both Hart and Green suggest that one of the two younger keepers could get the nod.

For the USA, Bob Bradley has confirmed that Jozy Altidore will start up front after overcoming an ankle injury sustained in the recent friendly with Australia.

Edson Buddle scored two against Australia and may well start alongside Altidore, which would probably keep Robbie Findley on the bench.

Oguchi Onyewu is a fitness concern for Bradley. The defender ruptured a knee tendon last October and has only just started to play again. 



• England have been involved in more 0-0 draws in the World Cup finals than any other team with a total of nine in 55 matches.

• The USA were the top scorers in qualifying with 42 goals in 18 matches.

• The USA have lost five of their last seven opening matches at the World Cup.

• England are unbeaten in their last four opening World Cup matches.

• The USA have gone 10 games without a clean sheet.

• England kept 10 clean sheets out of 14 in qualifying.