England v USA preview – Easy start for England?

England is the clear favorite in this match and I expect them to win 2-0. That being said, many of the experts are predicting that this will be a close match and some say that the USA might even end up pulling off a draw.

For that to happen, I think England will have to play a defensive brand of football. If they do this, it will be a huge upset to all their fans back home. Their biggest threat would be Landon Donovan who has over 100 caps for the US and is their biggest star player.

Donovan plays with David Beckham for the LA Galaxy and impressed while on loan to Everton this season, so he is definitely the player that England should watch out for. I still believe that England currently has too much star power and if they play to potential, they should easily out power the USA.

All eyes will be on star striker Wayne Rooney because he has been in superb form, yet it remains to be seen if his recent injuries will slow him down. If England is to go all the way and win the World Cup, then Rooney needs to perform in just about every match.

With an injury to captain Rio Ferdinand, senior players like Gerrard and Lampard have to shoulder the responsibility and make sure England walks away with a win. The biggest challenge for the US defense will be Wayne Rooney and it will be up to defender Jay DeMerit to contain the prolific scorer who has played 32 English Premier League matches this season and scored 26 goals.

Marcelo Balboa, a former U.S. World Cup defender commentating for Futbol de Primera was heard saying that although Rooney is brilliant player, one of the ways to bring him down was to upset him and let him self-destruct. This was exactly what happened to Rooney 4 years ago at the World Cup, when he lost his temper and kicked Portuguese defender Ricardo Carvalho in his groin.

However, DeMerit was not so sure that this strategy would work anymore. He told reporters that “The team knows that you try to wind Rooney up; that’s been out there already. But I think he’s learned over the years, with people telling him, that’s an easy way to get at him. I don’t think it’s as easy to wind Rooney up as people think it is”.

For me, I am putting my money on England and sticking to my prediction of a 2-0 win! I just hope that nerves don’t get the better of them….

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