Thursday, November 15 – 8:00p.m Local time – Wembley Stadium, London, United Kingdom
England will play host to the United States on Thursday night in an international friendly that should serve as a great warm up ahead of Sunday’s UEFA Nations League match against 2018 FIFA World Cup Finalists, Croatia.
The match will also see former Manchester United skipper Wayne Rooney adorn an England jersey for the very last time, in what will be his 120th appearance for the Three Lions.
Rooney, who currently plies his trade with D.C United in Major League Soccer, officially retired from the international scene in August 2017. The 33-year old is back in Wembley for one final match dubbed by the English Football Association as ‘The Wayne Rooney Foundation International’; a friendly in support of the forward’s charitable interests.
Although the forward struggled during his latter days at Man United, and similarly on his return to boyhood club Everton, Rooney has been nothing short of remarkable in the United States. Having joined D.C. United when the club sat at the foot of the Eastern Conference with two wins, five draws and seven losses, the former England captain put up swashbuckling performances that staggeringly propelled the club to a fourth place finish in the Eastern conference; one that guided the Black-and-Red to securing a place in the MLS playoff — somewhat of an impossibility barely three months ago.
D.C may have succumbed to a 3-2 defeat in a penalty shootout to Columbus Crew who advanced to the Eastern Conference semi-finals, but his 12 goals and seven assists in just 20 appearances earned him a place in the MLS Best XI for 2018, alongside former Man United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, currently with LA Galaxy.
Since Rooney’s retirement, England have thrived. Gareth Southgate has breathed a new lease of life into the team, with a complete revamp of the squad that paid massive dividends when the Three Lions reached the last four of the World Cup for the first time since 1990.
The England gaffer has admitted that Rooney will make a cameo appearance off the bench in the friendly match to collect his record 120th cap for the country, in recognition of his record-breaking international career that saw him become England’s all-time leading goal scorer with 53 goals. Thursday’s appearance also making him England’s most capped outfield player.
Southgate looks poised to utilize his entire squad during this international break, with fringe players increasingly likely to be given a chance during their friendly against the United States.
England sit second in Group 4 of the UEFA Nations League A after a 2-1 home defeat to Spain, a goalless draw with Croatia and a 3-2 triumph over La Furia Roja in the return leg. The results as such have their hopes hanging on the balance, meaning the Three Lions will have to wait for Thursday’s outcome between Spain and Croatia to know where their true fate lies.
Be that as it way, Southgate will save his best players for the match against Croatia, seeing as his side could either be playing for a place in the finals or possibly risk relegation to League B for the next version of the tournament.
Kieran Trippier has withdrawn from the England squad following a groin injury sustained during Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace over the weekend, whereas Danny Welbeck didn’t receive a call up to the initial 28-man squad after the forward suffered a nasty ankle injury during Arsenal’s Europa League draw with Sporting Lisbon last Thursday.
England vs. USA betting predictions
The USA’s national soccer team is currently undergoing a rebuilding process after failing to qualify for Russia World Cup. Interim head coach Dave Sarachan knows too well that an impressive performance in Wembley could help him secure the role on a permanent basis, albeit a tough ask, as the USA men’s soccer team has never won a football match on English soil.
|Best Bets||Odds||Bet Now|
|Double chance to win||-400 at William Hill||Place Bet|
|Total match goals over 2.5||+100 at William Hill||Place Bet|
England recent results
Spain 2-3 England (October 15, 2018)
Croatia 0-0 England (October 12, 2018)
England 1-0 Switzerland (September 11, 2018)
USA recent results
USA 1-1 Peru (October 17, 2018)
USA 2-4 Colombia (October 12, 2018)
USA 1-0 Mexico (September 12, 2018)
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