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England vs USA betting preview: The Wayne Rooney show?

As England and USA look to close out their calendar years, 2018 could not have been more different on opposing sides of the Atlantic.

World Cup semi-finalist England had its best tournament in 22 years, but it’s been a year of American friendlies, following failure to qualify for the event in Russia.

USA now has the chance to end 2018 on a positive note. But will a confident England team prove too strong?

The Wayne Rooney show

Stealing headlines in the build-up is a familiar face for both sets of fans. With 12 goals and seven assists for DC United this season, MLS followers will know all about Wayne Rooney.

The former England captain will briefly exit international retirement for his 120th cap against USA, although he won’t start.

Rooney is odds on with bookmakers to score, which makes some sense: it’s a friendly, the USA has little to play for and England will want to give the striker a memorable send-off. The best price for Rooney to score at any time is 7/5 with William Hill.

How much Rooney will actually play, however, is a question mark, making him an unlikely first scorer at 9/2.


England’s last five goals have been shared by two players. Raheem Sterling netted twice in last month’s 3-2 win in Spain, while Marcus Rashford has scored in three of England’s last four matches. Both are 5/1 to score first with Bet365 and 6/4 to convert at any time.

Harry Kane has played more of a team role for Tottenham and England recently, with goals at a rare premium for the striker. The 25-year-old is still favourite to score first, though, at 9/4 with SkyBet and 8/13 to score at any time with Bet365.

Elsewhere, Callum Wilson has received a well overdue England call-up and is 23/20 with Ladbrokes to score at any time and 15/4 with Bet365 to net first. He’ll have a point to prove.

For those expecting a USA goal, choosing a scorer won’t be easy. A different player has converted each of USA’s last five, with seven scorers for its last 10. In that time, Bobby Wood has top scored with three and is 9/2 with Bet365 to strike again and 14/1 to score first.

Werder Bremen’s Josh Sargent is 6/1 with Bet365 to get on the score sheet and 18/1 to score first. Outside options include Paris Saint-Germain’s Timothy Weah and Julian Green (both 13/2 anytime, 20/1 first).

The outcome

Result wise, England’s Spanish triumph means 3/10 with SkyBet and 2/7 with William Hill are the best odds on offer. A 2-0 win is favourite in the correct score market (5/1 with Bet365 and SkyBet).

Layers may have a semblance of hope, as England manager Gareth Southgate will be prioritising Sunday’s Nations League clash with Croatia.

USA has won three, drawn three and lost three in 2018. The draw is 9/2 with Bet365 and William Hill, while USA is 11/1 to ruin Rooney’s return.

By Tim Poole
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