THE excellent Daniel McCulloch (@DMcCulloch1984) runs the rule over England's friendly fixture with USA on Thursday night.
England v USA | Thursday 15th November 2018, 20:00 | Sky Sports
This fixture has been met with much derision from the media since it was announced as a farewell game for England’s all-time leading goalscorer, Wayne Rooney.
Whatever the rights and wrongs of such a decision, I do not expect a classic at Wembley on Thursday night. The game is almost certain to have a testimonial feel to it and lack the intensity that any game against a major footballing superpower would have.
Last month England faced Croatia behind closed doors and the lack of atmosphere led to a fairly cagey, dull game, with neither side able to break the deadlock. While I expect the net to bulge on some occasion here, I am surprised that odds-against quotes are available on two goals or fewer to be scored.
England are likely to name a fairly experimental line-up and with Rooney himself expected to play a fair amount of the game, I don’t expect there to be much pace to the game. Ultimately, I expect the hosts to edge the game and an England victory and Under 3.5 Goals to be scored is my fancy. That is available at 19/20 with Betway.
Since Gareth Southgate took over as England boss, 12 of his 15 victories would have seen such a bet emerge victorious and it is correct to say that friendlies under his leadership have been fairly dull encounters. There have been just 19 goals across 10 matches and I don’t see that average going up by much after this game.
The USA have played nine games this calendar year, with just 20 goals scored; their most impressive result was probably their draw with France before the World Cup but that sole result does not convince me that they can secure an upset here.
At 6/1 it’s probably also worth having a few pennies on a 1-0 victory for Southgate’s men. This has been a winner on five occasions during his reign and really don’t think either side will be too bothered if we walk off with such a result.