England vs USA LIVE: World Cup 2022 early team news, starting 11 and latest build-up

England vs USA LIVE: World Cup 2022 early team news, starting 11 and latest build-up

England take on the USA in Group B of the World Cup on Friday in Qatar. The Three Lions won their opening game in style against Iran, cruising to a 6-2 victory as Bukayo Saka, Jude Bellingham, Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish all on the scoresheet for Gareth Southgate’s side.

Harry Kane has shaken off an injury scare and is fit to play after undergoing a scan on his ankle this week, while Harry Maguire has also declared himself ready to start following an illness. Southgate is therefore expected to name an unchanged team.

England will want to end an unwanted record and claim their first victory over the USA at a World Cup. The USA famously defeated England at the 1950 World Cup, before Rob Green’s error resulted in a 1-1 draw in South Africa in 2010.

This USA side arrived in Qatar with lofty expectations but were held in their opener by Wales, despite dominating the first half. Gregg Berhalter’s side could not handle the physicality of Kieffer Moore but will look for a response at the Al Bayt Stadium. Follow all the latest England World Cup news ahead of the match against the USA, below.

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

  • England face USA in second match of World Cup 2022 in Qatar with kick-off at 7pm GMT

  • England thrashed Iran 6-2 in opening fixture with Harry Kane fit to start after injury scare

  • USA held 1-1 by Wales in Group B, in first World Cup appearance since 2014

England 0 - 0 United States

World Cup 2022: England 0-0 USA

19:33 , Kieran Jackson

33 mins: USA hit the crossbar!

Again, it’s all a bit easy for the United States. They switch the ball from right to left and Christian Pulisic rifles a left-foot shot onto the crossbar and behind!

Fierce strike - very unlucky for the American winger!

England a little shaken here....

World Cup 2022: England 0-0 USA

19:31 , Kieran Jackson

32 mins: Mount wins - rather luckily - a free-kick off McKennie, with the England midfielder going down clutching his face.

Bit much that, Mason.

World Cup 2022: England 0-0 USA

19:29 , Kieran Jackson

29 mins: Tricky few minutes for England.

Musah this time pops a shot off from long-range - but it deflects off Rice nicely into the hands of Pickford!

A bit too easy for the United States to break out of their defence though... and once they do, they’ve got plenty of space and numbers up in attack!

World Cup 2022: England 0-0 USA

19:26 , Kieran Jackson

26 mins: Big chance squanderred by USA’s Weston McKennie!

Yunus Musah finds the midfielder (who got away from Declan Rice) with a cross in the box - but he smashes it over first-time on the half-volley!

BIG let-off for England!

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

World Cup 2022: England 0-0 USA

19:24 , Kieran Jackson

24 mins: Raking diagonal ball from Harry Maguire finds Raheem Sterling down the left... but he can’t get the better of Dest!

USA clear their lines. Concerted England pressure again now...

World Cup 2022: England 0-0 USA

19:20 , Kieran Jackson

20 mins: While England do have the majority of possession, the United States are getting bodies forward on the break!

Dest’s cross from the right isn’t quite on the money, with Pickford claiming at the back post.

Luke Shaw gave away the ball cheaply there...

World Cup 2022: England 0-0 USA

19:17 , Kieran Jackson

17 mins: First potent attack from USA now!

Striker Haji Wright is first to the cross in the box, beating Maguire to it, but he can only head comfortably wide of Jordan Pickford’s goal!

World Cup 2022: England 0-0 USA

19:14 , Kieran Jackson

14 mins: Kane tries a Richarlison!

Saka’s cross is deflected up into the air and just as the England captain looks to pull the trigger with an acrobatic effort... USA midfielder Weston McKennie manage to get a head to the ball!

England now firmly on top!

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

World Cup 2022: England 0-0 USA

19:11 , Kieran Jackson

11 mins: Harry Maguire does brilliantly to keep the ball in on the far side after the corner is originally cleared, before Mason Mount has a speculative effort from long-range and it goes way into the stands!

First real signs of promise from England though!

World Cup 2022: England 0-0 USA

19:10 , Kieran Jackson

10 mins: First BIG chance for Harry Kane!

It’s a terrific one-two between Bellingham and Saka down the right, with the Arsenal man feeding the captain in the box - but his goalbound shot is blocked by Walker Zimmerman!

Corner...

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

World Cup 2022: England 0-0 USA

19:07 , Kieran Jackson

6 mins: Hesitant start from England. Maguire pulls a pass wide of Luke Shaw on the left-hand side

USA are pushing right up on the centre backs, playing a much higher line than Iran did on Monday...

The Three Lions yet to get out of their own half really!

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

World Cup 2022: England 0-0 USA

19:04 , Kieran Jackson

4 mins: US left back Antonee Robinson surges down the left-hand side but Kieran Trippier does well to deflect the ball off the American defender.

USA have had the majority of the ball so far, in fact...

World Cup 2022: England 0-0 USA

19:02 , Kieran Jackson

2 mins: An early nervy kick-out from US goalkeeper Matt Turner, gifting England possession with a throw-in - but the US break out well.

Luke Shaw with an early foul the other way...

England 0-0 USA

19:00 , Kieran Jackson

KICK-OFF: We’re underway at the Al Bayt Stadium!

England with their first unchanged starting XI in 53 games - can they deliver another convincing three points in Qatar?

The England XI take the knee prior to the referee’s whistle.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

World Cup 2022: England vs USA - A reminder of the starting XIs tonight!

18:59 , Kieran Jackson

England XI: Pickford, Trippier, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Bellingham, Rice, Mount; Saka, Kane, Sterling

USA XI: Turner; Dest, Ream, Zimmerman, Robinson; Adams, Musah, McKennie; Weah, Wright, Pulisic

England vs USA commentators: Who are ITV pundits at Qatar World Cup?

18:57 , Kieran Jackson

England are taking on USA at the World Cup in Qatar tonight as they look to build upon their impressive 6-2 victory over Iran on Monday.

Every World Cup game from Qatar is being shown live in the UK on either the BBC or ITV, with England’s second match on ITV and across all the broadcaster’s streaming platforms.

That means the game will be soundtracked by ITV’s commentary ‘A-team’ of Sam Matterface and Lee Dixon – and the people on the microphone always divide opinion.

Analyst Dixon made over 450 league appearances for Arsenal before turning to punditry.

Lead commentator Matterface primarily appears on ITV but also commentates on TalkSport radio.

England vs USA commentators: Who are ITV pundits at Qatar World Cup?

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

18:55 , Kieran Jackson

The teams are out at the Al Bayt Stadium to a chorus of noise from the terraces!

Now time for the national anthems!

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

World Cup 2022: England vs USA - Gareth Southgate, speaking to ITV:

18:53 , Kieran Jackson

On picking same starting XI as Iran: “It’s never straightforward because you’re wondering if you should refresh things. But if I was a player I’d think I’d earned the right, I think we’ve done the right thing.

On USA: “They put you under a lot of pressure, it’ll be a different tempo of game. We have to find the solutions to play through them.

“We’ve got to be positive in the way that we play, the beauty of a World Cup is that we have to overcome different challenges. It’s a great prize if we can win tonight but a very different sort of challenge.”

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

18:50 , Kieran Jackson

We’re just 10 minutes away from this clash at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor - which hosted the opening game of the tournament!

England can qualify for the last-16 with a win, while the USA will be looking to provide a shock!

No rainbow armband for Harry Kane. But, meanwhile:

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

World Cup 2022: England vs USA - Jude Bellingham profile:

18:46 , Kieran Jackson

Jude Bellingham’s hometown proud of the lad who practised so much he wore the grass out:

As England’s teenage football hero Jude Bellingham returns to the pitch in Qatar on Friday, friends and neighbours in his hometown of Stourbridge in the West Midlands are bursting with pride.

And none more so than his former primary school caretaker, who used to fetch the player’s lost ball down from the roof when he was a boy.

“It seemed to be a daily occurrence,” Mark Williams tells The Independent. “You could tell then he was quite a good little footballer and he was destined to be.”

“He did seem to do that more than any other child. It became a joke. Every day the ladders were out. I kept them on standby because of that reason.”

He adds: “He was a very pleasant lad. He always asked you to get the ball down nicely.”

Bellingham, 19, scored the opening goal for England as the team kicked off the Qatar World Cup with a 6-2 win against Iran this week.

This made the midfielder only the second teenager – after Michael Owen – to score for the Three Lions at a World Cup.

Jude Bellingham’s neighbours, teachers and friends reveal what he was like growing up

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

18:45 , Kieran Jackson

Roy Keane on Jude Bellingham, speaking on ITV:

“He’s dynamic, he gets forward. We saw his goal the other day. He looks like its easy for him, very mature. He looks like a footballer, talented boy. Great stage now at 19 years of age. He’s still a child but his future, my goodness, if he keeps his feet on the ground.

Gary Neville:

“I think we should get carried away. They’re like leaders at 19, he’s got everything. Can run forward, if you were making the perfect midfield player you’d say that’s almost him.”

Ian Wright:

“He’s that player who’s comfortable receving the ball anywhere. He could be the one.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

18:39 , Kieran Jackson

The players are out warming up at the Al Bayt Stadium!

A reminder that Harry Kane is fit to start despite that ankle problem, while Harry Maguire makes his 50th England appearance this evening!

What a stage for it too!

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

18:34 , Kieran Jackson

Jordan Pickford is hoping England get fair treatment from officials after boss Gareth Southgate said he was “worried” that his side had been used as an example during pre-World Cup referee meetings.

England were denied what looked like a clear spot-kick when Harry Maguire was grabbed by Rouzbeh Cheshmi early on in their 6-2 win over Iran on Monday.

The VAR decided not to intervene but later alerted the referee to a tug on a shirt in the England box which resulted in Mehdi Taremi scoring a last-gasp penalty, while a similar offence resulted in a spot-kick in Argentina’s shock defeat to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

Jordan Pickford hoping England get ‘fair’ treatment from referees

World Cup 2022: A reminder of the starting XIs tonight!

18:28 , Kieran Jackson

England XI: Pickford, Trippier, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Bellingham, Rice, Mount; Saka, Kane, Sterling

USA XI: Turner; Dest, Ream, Zimmerman, Robinson; Adams, Musah, McKennie; Weah, Wright, Pulisic

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

World Cup 2022: England captain fit to play against USA after scan all clear

18:26 , Kieran Jackson

England boss Gareth Southgate has confirmed captain Harry Kane will return to training on Thursday ahead of the World Cup clash with the United States after his ankle scan came back all clear.

Kane suffered a knock to his right ankle after a clumsy challenge by Morteza Pouraliganji in England’s 6-2 win against Iran on Monday – the national team’s biggest ever win at the start of a major tournament.

The Spurs striker, who has a history of ankle problems, did play on for 25 minutes but was seen limping after the game and went for a precautionary scan.

But the 29-year-old received the green light to train on Wednesday, with the official England Twitter account sharing a photo of him in training accompanied by the caption “skipper” and a fist emoji.

Harry Kane fit to play against USA after scan all clear

World Cup 2022: England vs USA - PREVIEW

18:21 , Kieran Jackson

Chief Football Writer Miguel Delaney’s big match preview from Doha

As England began to play the ball around against Iran, they felt something different.

“Definitely a click,” John Stones said of the 6-2 win. “Or a desire to put things right. We had come out of a bad period.”

They can now look through to the other side. England scored more goals against Iran than they did in the entire Nations League campaign. The reality, however, was that it was a step up from Gareth Southgate’s general style rather than just the last eight months.

“I guess people wouldn’t expect us to be like that having watched us for a couple of years and the style of football we play,” the manager acknowledged. “Maybe we regressed to the norm.”

The challenge now is to make it the norm, and illustrate it was not partly a product of the disarray that Iran are in; that England have announced their credentials.

After turning a corner, England now look for World Cup momentum against the USA

World Cup 2022: Who is England vs USA official Jesus Valenzuela?

18:14 , Kieran Jackson

Jesus Valenzuela is the referee of England’s match against the USA at the World Cup tonight.

The Venezuelan is taking charge of his first match at the World Cup after being selected as one of 36 referees at the tournament in Qatar.

The 39-year-old is considered to be one of the top referees in South America - taking charge of matches in the Copa America, Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana and South American World Cup qualifiers.

He referees professional in Venezuela’s top flight, where he took charge of nine matches before the league paused for the World Cup.

In those matches, however, Valenzuela showed red cards in seven of them, as well as an array of yellow cards.

Who is the referee of England vs USA at the World Cup?

World Cup 2022: QATAR ARE OUT OF THE WORLD CUP!

18:08 , Kieran Jackson

BREAKING NEWS: Netherlands’ 1-1 draw with Ecuador in Group A means that Qatar - the hosts - are out of their own World Cup after just two matches!

Netherlands and Ecuador are joint-top of Group A with four points, with Senegal on three points.

The first time the host nation has ever been eliminated from the World Cup after just two games!

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

England fans set for bans if they wear crusader replica costumes at Qatar World Cup

18:02 , Kieran Jackson

England fans will be barred from Friday’s match in Qatar against the United States and future World Cup games if they wear crusader replica costumes which are considered culturally insensitive in a Muslim country, FIFA has said.

England supporters have used imitation chain-mail armour, plastic helmets and toy weapons as a fancy dress for games for years.

But images of some fans dressed as crusaders at Monday’s 6-2 win over Iran in the Qatari capital Doha were criticised online, prompting the sport’s world governing body to crack down on the costumes.

“These costumes in an Arab or Middle Eastern context can be perceived as being offensive so that’s the reason for them not being permitted in stadiums,” a FIFA spokesperson said.

For many Arabs, the word crusade summons up a painful history of violent invasion by Christians seeking to capture Jerusalem and nearby areas under Islamic rule in the 11th to 13th centuries.

Issues around culture and rights have been in focus almost as much the soccer at the World Cup in Qatar.

Some Wales fans were ordered to remove hats with the rainbow colours of the LGBT community at their team’s first match of the tournament against the United States earlier this week.

Same-sex relations are illegal in Qatar.

Welsh football authorities said on Thursday that FIFA had confirmed that supporters with rainbow-coloured hats and flags would be allowed entry to the stadium for Wales’ match against Iran on Friday, which Wales lost 2-0.

The captains of England, Wales, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark this week dropped their plans to wear armbands to back gay rights under pressure from FIFA.

 (PA)
(PA)

England to play Euro 2024 qualifier against Italy in Naples

17:50 , Jack Rathborn

England’s opening Euro 2024 qualifier against Italy will take place in Naples.

The Italian Football Federation confirmed the Group C campaign will begin at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium on March 23.

The Azzurri, who beat England at Wembley on penalties to win Euro 2020, will return to play in Naples almost 10 years after the 2014 World Cup qualifying fixture against Armenia.

It had been expected the tie against England would take place in Bari, but renovation works at the Stadio San Nicola meant a different location was needed.

The choice of venue, though, will raise some safety concerns for travelling England fans following issues experienced in European club fixtures against Napoli.

Roberto Mancini’s side did not qualify for the World Cup in Qatar, having been knocked out of the play-offs by North Macedonia, but impressed in the Nations League campaign, finishing top of Group A3 while England were relegated.

In September, Italy beat England 1-0 in their Nations League match at the San Siro.

Ukraine, North Macedonia and Malta make up the rest of the Euro 2024 qualifying group, with the top two sides set to reach the finals in Germany.

Team news: England unchanged to face USA

17:47 , Kieran Jackson

England XI: Pickford, Trippier, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Bellingham, Rice, Mount; Saka, Kane, Sterling

USA XI: Turner; Dest, Ream, Zimmerman, Robinson; Adams, Musah, McKennie; Weah, Wright, Pulisic

Gareth Southgate opts for an unchanged line-up to face the USA - an unchanged side for the first time since the 2018 World Cup!

While Gregg Berhalter has gone for Haji Wright over Josh Sargent.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Gareth Southgate: England players putting country on the map at World Cup

17:40 , Jack Rathborn

Gareth Southgate believes England players are “putting the country on the map.”

After many disappointing outcomes at tournaments, Southgate believes the Three Lions are capable of producing a “sustained challenge”.

“We feel that we can be competitive for years to come and that has to be the aim really, to have a sustained challenge in the latter stages on the big competitions, we haven’t done that for years and years,” Southgate said.

“These players are putting our country on the map really. They are regaining our respectability on the world stage and we have got to keep doing that.”

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

17:28 , Kieran Jackson

England will qualify for the World Cup knockout phase if they beat the United States on Friday.

Here is a closer look at the side standing in the way of Gareth Southgate’s men.

United States in focus: What awaits England in Friday’s World Cup clash?

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

17:15 , Kieran Jackson

England were denied what looked like a clear spot-kick when Harry Maguire was grabbed by Rouzbeh Cheshmi early on in their 6-2 win over Iran on Monday.

The VAR decided not to intervene but later alerted the referee to a tug on a shirt in the England box which resulted in Mehdi Taremi scoring a last-gasp penalty, while a similar offence resulted in a spot-kick in Argentina’s shock defeat to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

FIFA referees committee chairman Pierluigi Collina had singled out England during a pre-tournament briefing - also open to the media - showing a clip of Kalvin Phillips blocking to create space in the box for Maguire to score in England’s 5-0 World Cup qualifying win over Albania last year.

The Italian said such a goal would be disallowed at the World Cup and Southgate said after the Iran win that he was “worried” about the potential ramifications of England being the team highlighted ahead of the finals and that he would seek “dialogue” with FIFA.

Asked on the eve of the Group B clash with the United States if that dialogue had started, he replied: “We put a report in. We haven’t heard anything back as yet.

“There was obviously a penalty given the next afternoon, so whether that was a consequence of our game being reviewed by the referees or not...it’s hard to say. But we haven’t had a response yet.

“The concern is the consistency. We know what we’ve got to do right and we know we risk being punished for certain things.

“I think for all the teams in the tournament, there is a worry when you’re not quite sure what’s going to be given and that uncertainty on the field and from the VAR as well.”

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

16:58 , Kieran Jackson

England will qualify for the World Cup knockout phase if they beat the United States on Friday.

Ahead of the Group B clash in Al Khor, here are five of the main talking points.

England vs USA: Talking points ahead of Group B clash at World Cup

World Cup 2022: Wales 0-2 Iran - MATCH REPORT

16:44 , Kieran Jackson

By Richard Jolly in Qatar:

“Don’t take me home” became an anthem of Wales in 2016 but the danger is they will soon be booking their flights.

The latest of late drama felt a fatal blow to their hopes of extending their stay in Qatar, goals in the 98th and 101st minutes earning Iran the victory they thoroughly deserved but which thanks to a combination of the uprights, the most marginal of offsides and some inspired goalkeeping, they seemed set to be denied.

Yet Wayne Hennessey’s day will not be remembered for his stops from Sardar Azmoun and Saeid Ezatolahi, crucial as they seemed at the time.

Iran strike late to leave Wales on the brink after Hennessey red card

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

16:29 , Kieran Jackson

John Stones has known Harry Maguire for almost two decades and revealed the pair often share jokes over texts - meaning the Manchester City defender was in “no doubt” that his England team-mate would find his form at the World Cup.

The two centre-backs may cross the Manchester divide, with Maguire captaining Manchester United, but they are long-time friends and have built a fine understanding at the heart of Gareth Southgate’s defence.

Maguire has been dropped by United recently and was also jeered by a small section of England fans earlier in the year.

But Southgate kept his faith in the 29-year-old and it was repaid with a fine display in the 6-2 win over Iran on Monday before Maguire went off with illness.

“First of all, no doubt at all,” Stones replied when asked if Maguire would settle in with England despite his club form.

“Harry hasn’t played much at his club, but to come in and play like he did - I don’t think anyone saw a bit of rust on him.

“That’s great credit to him and I’m so happy for him and everyone who played. As a player you want and need to be playing and have a good rhythm. But for him to come in to play as he did is credit to him.”

John Stones has faith in his partnership with Harry Maguire (PA Archive)
John Stones has faith in his partnership with Harry Maguire (PA Archive)

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

16:12 , Kieran Jackson

Jordan Pickford is hoping England get fair treatment from officials after boss Gareth Southgate said he was “worried” that his side had been used as an example during pre-World Cup referee meetings.

England were denied what looked like a clear spot-kick when Harry Maguire was grabbed by Rouzbeh Cheshmi early on in their 6-2 win over Iran on Monday.

The VAR decided not to intervene but later alerted the referee to a tug on a shirt in the England box which resulted in Mehdi Taremi scoring a last-gasp penalty, while a similar offence resulted in a spot-kick in Argentina’s shock defeat to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

Jordan Pickford hoping England get ‘fair’ treatment from referees

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

15:59 , Ben Burrows

England and six other federations feared that their captains could have been issued a red card, and that there was essentially “unlimited liability”, had they worn the OneLove armband in their opening World Cup matches.

There wouldn’t even have been the prospect of an iconic photo, as any sanction would have been administered before the teams set out onto the pitch. It was for this reason that the federations were keen to take the decision out of the players’ hands, and not put them under any pressure.

The relatively small gesture of the armbands - a protest against Qatar’s laws and attitude to LGBTQ+ groups - has become one of the biggest issues in a hugely controversial World Cup. The German federation have already accused Fifa of “extreme blackmail” in discussions, and there was a genuine fear that it could have seen players such as Harry Kane, Virgil van Dijk and Gareth Bale suspended.

England feared red card for those wearing OneLove armband at World Cup

World Cup 2022: England captain fit to play against USA after scan all clear

15:42 , Kieran Jackson

England boss Gareth Southgate has confirmed captain Harry Kane will return to training on Thursday ahead of the World Cup clash with the United States after his ankle scan came back all clear.

Kane suffered a knock to his right ankle after a clumsy challenge by Morteza Pouraliganji in England’s 6-2 win against Iran on Monday – the national team’s biggest ever win at the start of a major tournament.

The Spurs striker, who has a history of ankle problems, did play on for 25 minutes but was seen limping after the game and went for a precautionary scan.

But the 29-year-old received the green light to train on Wednesday, with the official England Twitter account sharing a photo of him in training accompanied by the caption “skipper” and a fist emoji.

Harry Kane fit to play against USA after scan all clear

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

15:30 , Kieran Jackson

Gareth Southgate has not ruled out his England team making a gesture to highlight human rights concerns at the Qatar World Cup but says they will not be pressured into doing so.

The German team covered their mouths for the team photo before their opening World Cup match against Japan on Wednesday, while the Australia squad released a video highlighting issues in the host country.

Seven European nations competing at the World Cup – including Germany, England and Wales – planned to wear OneLove anti-discrimination armbands during the tournament, but were dissuaded from doing so following the threat of sporting sanctions from Fifa.

Southgate, whose team face the United States in their second match on Friday, said: “I don’t think we should feel any pressure – I think we’ve spoken on these particular topics for over a year and we’ve supported all manner of good causes either as individuals or the collective.”

Gareth Southgate: England won’t be rushed into matching Germany protest

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

15:15 , Kieran Jackson

As England began to play the ball around against Iran, they felt something different.

“Definitely a click,” John Stones said of the 6-2 win. “Or a desire to put things right. We had come out of a bad period.”

They can now look through to the other side. England scored more goals against Iran than they did in the entire Nations League campaign. The reality, however, was that it was a step up from Gareth Southgate’s general style rather than just the last eight months.

“I guess people wouldn’t expect us to be like that having watched us for a couple of years and the style of football we play,” the manager acknowledged. “Maybe we regressed to the norm.”

The challenge now is to make it the norm, and illustrate it was not partly a product of the disarray that Iran are in; that England have announced their credentials.

Chief Football Writer Miguel Delaney’s big match preview from Doha:

After turning a corner, England now look for World Cup momentum against the USA

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

14:58 , Kieran Jackson

As England’s teenage football hero Jude Bellingham returns to the pitch in Qatar on Friday, friends and neighbours in his hometown of Stourbridge in the West Midlands are bursting with pride.

And none more so than his former primary school caretaker, who used to fetch the player’s lost ball down from the roof when he was a boy.

“It seemed to be a daily occurrence,” Mark Williams tells The Independent. “You could tell then he was quite a good little footballer and he was destined to be.”

“He did seem to do that more than any other child. It became a joke. Every day the ladders were out. I kept them on standby because of that reason.”

He adds: “He was a very pleasant lad. He always asked you to get the ball down nicely.”

Bellingham, 19, scored the opening goal for England as the team kicked off the Qatar World Cup with a 6-2 win against Iran this week.

This made the midfielder only the second teenager – after Michael Owen – to score for the Three Lions at a World Cup.

Jude Bellingham’s hometown proud of the lad who practised so much he wore the grass out:

Hometown pride for ‘lovely’ Jude Bellingham who practised so much he wore grass out

World Cup 2022: Who is England vs USA official Jesus Valenzuela?

14:39 , Kieran Jackson

Jesus Valenzuela is the referee of England’s match against the USA at the World Cup tonight.

The Venezuelan is taking charge of his first match at the World Cup after being selected as one of 36 referees at the tournament in Qatar.

The 39-year-old is considered to be one of the top referees in South America - taking charge of matches in the Copa America, Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana and South American World Cup qualifiers.

He referees professional in Venezuela’s top flight, where he took charge of nine matches before the league paused for the World Cup.

In those matches, however, Valenzuela showed red cards in seven of them, as well as an array of yellow cards.

Who is the referee of England vs USA at the World Cup?

World Cup 2022: What time does England vs USA kick off today?

14:22 , Kieran Jackson

England know a second straight victory at the World Cup will see them qualified from Group B, following their clinical showing in the win over Iran.

Opponents this time are United States, who themselves drew with Wales - though Gregg Berhalter’s side will no doubt be ruing the fact they were so dominant in that game early on and failed to make their superiority count sufficiently to take all three points.

USA know that although a defeat would make matters difficult, they still have Iran to face in their final game - seemingly the weakest of the quartet, with four points potentially enough to go through depending on results elsewhere.

Bukayo Saka’s brilliant showing in the Three Lions’ opener surely means he’ll retain his place, with perhaps only injuries likely to see Gareth Southgate change his line-up.

When is England vs USA?

The Group B match will kick-off at 7pm on Friday, 25 November at the Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.

What time does England vs USA kick off today?

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

13:16 , Jamie Braidwood

England will qualify for the World Cup knockout phase if they beat the United States on Friday.

Here is a closer look at the side standing in the way of Gareth Southgate’s men.

United States in focus: What awaits England in Friday’s World Cup clash?

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

13:01 , Jamie Braidwood

England will qualify for the World Cup knockout phase if they beat the United States on Friday.

Ahead of the Group B clash in Al Khor, here are five of the main talking points.

England vs USA: Talking points ahead of Group B clash at World Cup

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

12:44 , Jamie Braidwood

Iran’s football players sang their national anthem before facing Wales at the World Cup on Friday - after refusing to sing the anthem in their opening match against England earlier this week.

Iran’s fans booed and jeered the national anthem but unlike against England, the team’s players did not stay silent and sang the words of the anthem.

The initial protest against England was a significant act of defiance and unity with anti-government protesters following weeks of violent protests in Iran, sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody in September.

While the players sang the anthem before their match against Wales, the TV coverage of the match showed pictures of distraught Iran fans in the crowd at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Qatar.

Iran strike late to leave Wales on the brink after Hennessey red card

12:32 , Jamie Braidwood

“Don’t take me home” became an anthem of Wales in 2016 but the danger is they will soon be booking their flights. The latest of late drama felt a fatal blow to their hopes of extending their stay in Qatar, goals in the 98th and 101st minutes earning Iran the victory they thoroughly deserved but which thanks to a combination of the uprights, the most marginal of offsides and some inspired goalkeeping, they seemed set to be denied.

Yet Wayne Hennessey’s day will not be remembered for his stops from Sardar Azmoun and Saeid Ezatolahi, crucial as they seemed at the time.

Report from Wales vs Iran by Richard Jolly

Iran strike late to leave Wales on the brink after Hennessey red card

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

12:31 , Jamie Braidwood

Harry Maguire is away with England at a fascinating time for Manchester United, with the Glazer family announcing on Tuesday they were willing to sell just hours after Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract was mutually terminated.

The skipper says he has found it easy to focus on national team matters despite there being “a lot of talk going off around the club”, and interestingly used his now former team-mate as an example for coping with flak.

“Of course as a footballer nobody likes being criticised, but I think it’s part and parcel of the game,” said Maguire, who feels fine after being substituted against Iran as he was feeling unwell.

“I’ve played with Cristiano Ronaldo for the last couple of years and he’s one of the greatest players ever to kick a football and he gets criticised day in, day out.

“So, if it’s going to happen to him and the position I’m in, I think it’s part and parcel of the game, especially the position that I’m in playing for Manchester United and the captain of Manchester United.

“With Cristiano playing and me being around him over the last couple of years, he’s the greatest player, for me, to ever kick a football and he gets criticised daily so it’s going to happen to each and every one of us.

“So, it’s part and parcel of the game. It’s something that you’ve got to go into training, do your best and that’s what I always tell myself. Just go in and do your best and that’s only what you can do.”

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

12:16 , Jamie Braidwood

Harry Maguire says his self-belief never wavered amid poor performances and widespread criticism, although the England defender admits his lack of game time had him a little concerned over his World Cup place.

Last year the 29-year-old bounced back from an ankle injury to star during the run to the Euro 2020 final, earning himself a place in the team of the tournament.

But things have gone awry since then, with a wretched season for all involved with Manchester United followed by the captain enduring a challenging start to the current campaign.

Dropped after Erik ten Hag lost his first two matches in charge, the centre-back has only made seven more club appearances - a period that also saw him laid low by injury.

Those struggles led to questions over Maguire’s place in the World Cup squad and the defender admits there was a part of him, however small, that was concerned he would not make Gareth Southgate’s selection.

“Obviously being picked for your country is a huge privilege,” he said ahead of winning his 50th cap in Friday’s World Cup group game against the United States.

“It’s the pinnacle of anybody’s footballing career to play at major tournaments for your country, World Cups especially. It’s the biggest tournament in the world.

“Obviously you have fear of (not) being in a squad, but I had great belief over what I have done over the 49 caps I’ve played for England that I’ve earned the trust to be in the squad and be available for the team and the selection.”

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

12:01 , Jamie Braidwood

England were denied what looked like a clear spot-kick when Harry Maguire was grabbed by Rouzbeh Cheshmi early on in their 6-2 win over Iran on Monday.

The VAR decided not to intervene but later alerted the referee to a tug on a shirt in the England box which resulted in Mehdi Taremi scoring a last-gasp penalty, while a similar offence resulted in a spot-kick in Argentina’s shock defeat to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

FIFA referees committee chairman Pierluigi Collina had singled out England during a pre-tournament briefing - also open to the media - showing a clip of Kalvin Phillips blocking to create space in the box for Maguire to score in England’s 5-0 World Cup qualifying win over Albania last year.

The Italian said such a goal would be disallowed at the World Cup and Southgate said after the Iran win that he was “worried” about the potential ramifications of England being the team highlighted ahead of the finals and that he would seek “dialogue” with FIFA.

Asked on the eve of the Group B clash with the United States if that dialogue had started, he replied: “We put a report in. We haven’t heard anything back as yet.

“There was obviously a penalty given the next afternoon, so whether that was a consequence of our game being reviewed by the referees or not...it’s hard to say. But we haven’t had a response yet.

“The concern is the consistency. We know what we’ve got to do right and we know we risk being punished for certain things.

“I think for all the teams in the tournament, there is a worry when you’re not quite sure what’s going to be given and that uncertainty on the field and from the VAR as well.”

Gareth Southgate has not ruled out making further gestures regarding human rights in Qatar (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Wire)
Gareth Southgate has not ruled out making further gestures regarding human rights in Qatar (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Wire)

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

11:44 , Jamie Braidwood

John Stones has known Harry Maguire for almost two decades and revealed the pair often share jokes over texts - meaning the Manchester City defender was in “no doubt” that his England team-mate would find his form at the World Cup.

The two centre-backs may cross the Manchester divide, with Maguire captaining Manchester United, but they are long-time friends and have built a fine understanding at the heart of Gareth Southgate’s defence.

Maguire has been dropped by United recently and was also jeered by a small section of England fans earlier in the year.

But Southgate kept his faith in the 29-year-old and it was repaid with a fine display in the 6-2 win over Iran on Monday before Maguire went off with illness.

“First of all, no doubt at all,” Stones replied when asked if Maguire would settle in with England despite his club form.

“Harry hasn’t played much at his club, but to come in and play like he did - I don’t think anyone saw a bit of rust on him.

“That’s great credit to him and I’m so happy for him and everyone who played. As a player you want and need to be playing and have a good rhythm. But for him to come in to play as he did is credit to him.”

John Stones has faith in his partnership with Harry Maguire (Owen Humphreys/PA) (PA Archive)
John Stones has faith in his partnership with Harry Maguire (Owen Humphreys/PA) (PA Archive)

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

11:29 , Jamie Braidwood

Gareth Southgate warned he expects a different level of opposition from the Americans after England enjoyed a relatively easy opener against Iran.

“I think tomorrow’s game will be very different to the first match,” added Southgate.

“They are a team that press the ball really well, and who have, with respect, probably a level of player that has more experience of playing in top-level European leagues.

“In terms of tomorrow’s game it’s not going to be the pattern of the previous one.”

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

11:16 , Jamie Braidwood

Jordan Pickford is hoping England get fair treatment from officials after boss Gareth Southgate said he was “worried” that his side had been used as an example during pre-World Cup referee meetings.

England were denied what looked like a clear spot-kick when Harry Maguire was grabbed by Rouzbeh Cheshmi early on in their 6-2 win over Iran on Monday.

The VAR decided not to intervene but later alerted the referee to a tug on a shirt in the England box which resulted in Mehdi Taremi scoring a last-gasp penalty, while a similar offence resulted in a spot-kick in Argentina’s shock defeat to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

Jordan Pickford hoping England get ‘fair’ treatment from referees

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

10:58 , Jamie Braidwood

Gareth Southgate has not ruled out his England team making a gesture to highlight human rights concerns at the Qatar World Cup but says they will not be pressured into doing so.

The German team covered their mouths for the team photo before their opening World Cup match against Japan on Wednesday, while the Australia squad released a video highlighting issues in the host country.

Seven European nations competing at the World Cup – including Germany, England and Wales – planned to wear OneLove anti-discrimination armbands during the tournament, but were dissuaded from doing so following the threat of sporting sanctions from Fifa.

Southgate, whose team face the United States in their second match on Friday, said: “I don’t think we should feel any pressure – I think we’ve spoken on these particular topics for over a year and we’ve supported all manner of good causes either as individuals or the collective.

Gareth Southgate: England won’t be rushed into matching Germany protest

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

10:44 , Jamie Braidwood

Gareth Southgate said it would be a “brave decision” to leave Harry Kane out of his England starting line-up against the United States after confirming the striker had come through training with a clean bill of health.

Kane suffered a knock after a clumsy challenge by Morteza Pouraliganji in England’s 6-2 win against Iran on Monday – the national team’s biggest ever win at the start of a major tournament.

The Spurs striker, who has a history of ankle problems, did play on for 25 minutes but was seen limping after the game and went for a precautionary scan.

However, Kane has returned to training without issue and Southgate suggested his captain will feature from the start on Friday.

“Harry’s good,” he said. “He came through training, no problems, so it would be a brave decision to leave him out of the starting team.”

Gareth Southgate: It would be brave decision to leave Harry Kane out of England XI

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

10:28 , Jamie Braidwood

England and six other federations feared that their captains could have been issued a red card, and that there was essentially “unlimited liability”, had they worn the OneLove armband in their opening World Cup matches.

There wouldn’t even have been the prospect of an iconic photo, as any sanction would have been administered before the teams set out onto the pitch. It was for this reason that the federations were keen to take the decision out of the players’ hands, and not put them under any pressure.

The relatively small gesture of the armbands - a protest against Qatar’s laws and attitude to LGBTQ+ groups - has become one of the biggest issues in a hugely controversial World Cup. The German federation have already accused Fifa of “extreme blackmail” in discussions, and there was a genuine fear that it could have seen players such as Harry Kane, Virgil van Dijk and Gareth Bale suspended.

England feared red card for those wearing OneLove armband at World Cup

It’s theirs if they want it – Eddie Lewis backs England to reach World Cup final

10:20 , Michael Jones

Former USA forward Eddie Lewis believes England can go one step further at Qatar 2022 and reach the World Cup final.

Gareth Southgate’s side, who face USA in their second Group B game on Friday, reached the semi-finals at Russia 2018 and lost to Italy on penalties in last summer’s Euro 2020 final.

The United States held Wales 1-1 in their opening match on Monday, while England made their best-ever World Cup start by thrashing Iran 6-2 and Lewis said Southgate’s side will be “hard to stop”.

It’s theirs if they want it – Eddie Lewis backs England to reach World Cup final

England captain fit to play against USA after scan all clear

10:10 , Michael Jones

England boss Gareth Southgate has confirmed captain Harry Kane will return to training on Thursday ahead of the World Cup clash with the United States after his ankle scan came back all clear.

Kane suffered a knock to his right ankle after a clumsy challenge by Morteza Pouraliganji in England’s 6-2 win against Iran on Monday – the national team’s biggest ever win at the start of a major tournament.

The Spurs striker, who has a history of ankle problems, did play on for 25 minutes but was seen limping after the game and went for a precautionary scan.

But the 29-year-old received the green light to train on Wednesday, with the official England Twitter account sharing a photo of him in training accompanied by the caption “skipper” and a fist emoji.

Harry Kane fit to play against USA after scan all clear

Who is World Cup 2022 official Jesus Valenzuela?

09:58 , Michael Jones

Jesus Valenzuela is the referee of England’s match against the USA at the World Cup tonight.

The Venezuelan is taking charge of his first match at the World Cup after being selected as one of 36 referees at the tournament in Qatar.

The 39-year-old is considered to be one of the top referees in South America - taking charge of matches in the Copa America, Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana and South American World Cup qualifiers.

He referees professional in Venezuela’s top flight, where he took charge of nine matches before the league paused for the World Cup.

In those matches, however, Valenzuela showed red cards in seven of them, as well as an array of yellow cards.

Who is the referee of England vs USA at the World Cup?

World Cup 2022: Follow Wales vs Iran live

09:50 , Michael Jones

The early match of today’s World Cup action sees Wales take on Iran in Group B. Rob Page’s men drew with USA in their opening game and are hoping to go one better against a side that were hammered by England 6-2.

Should Wales win this morning they will move to the top of Group B ahead of England vs USA this evening and will be one step closer to a spot in the last 16.

Follow all the action with our live blog below. Kick off is at 10am:

Wales vs Iran LIVE: World Cup 2022 latest updates

World Cup 2022: Gareth Bale reacts with Wales captain on cusp of caps record against Iran

09:44 , Michael Jones

Gareth Bale wants to make becoming the most capped men’s player in Welsh football history “even more special” by leading Wales to World Cup victory over Iran.

Bale is set to overtake Chris Gunter, who will be among the substitutes for Friday’s encounter, and win his 110th cap at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Doha.

Wales have been boosted by the return to fitness of midfielder Joe Allen, out since mid-September with a hamstring injury, as they enter must-win territory following Monday’s 1-1 draw with the United States.

Bale, who made his Wales debut in 2006 and is his country’s record scorer with 41 goals, said: “I haven’t really been focusing on the cap thing to be honest, just trying to focus on the game.”

Gareth Bale reacts with Wales captain on cusp of caps record against Iran

FA asks Fifa for clarity over World Cup penalty inconsistencies

09:38 , Michael Jones

Gareth Southgate has revealed the Football Association has handed a report to Fifa to seek clarity over perceived penalty inconsistencies at the World Cup.

England were denied what looked like a clear spot-kick when Harry Maguire was grabbed by Rouzbeh Cheshmi early on in their 6-2 win over Iran on Monday.

The VAR decided not to intervene but later alerted the referee to a tug on a shirt in the England box which resulted in Mehdi Taremi scoring a last-gasp penalty, while a similar offence resulted in a spot-kick in Argentina’s shock defeat to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

Fifa referees committee chairman Pierluigi Collina had singled out England during a pre-tournament briefing – also open to the media – showing a clip of Kalvin Phillips blocking to create space in the box for Maguire to score in England’s 5-0 World Cup qualifying win over Albania last year.

FA asks Fifa for clarity over World Cup penalty inconsistencies

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

09:24 , Karl Matchett

As England began to play the ball around against Iran, they felt something different.

“Definitely a click,” John Stones said of the 6-2 win. “Or a desire to put things right. We had come out of a bad period.”

They can now look through to the other side. England scored more goals against Iran than they did in the entire Nations League campaign. The reality, however, was that it was a step up from Gareth Southgate’s general style rather than just the last eight months.

“I guess people wouldn’t expect us to be like that having watched us for a couple of years and the style of football we play,” the manager acknowledged. “Maybe we regressed to the norm.”

The challenge now is to make it the norm, and illustrate it was not partly a product of the disarray that Iran are in; that England have announced their credentials.

Chief Football Writer Miguel Delaney’s big match preview from Doha:

After turning a corner, England now look for World Cup momentum against the USA

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

09:12 , Karl Matchett

Matchday. It’s a pretty simple message from England first thing this morning.

The key news to look out for as we go will be the fitness of Harry Kane, any big calls from Gareth Southgate on changing the defence and, on the other side of the fence, USA’s likely line-up with Yunus Musah among those facing a fitness battle.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

09:00 , Karl Matchett

Anthony Hudson may be English, but in football terms, he’s most definitely a citizen of the world.

A short spell at Newport County aside, the assistant boss of the USA – and son of ex-Chelsea and Stoke great, Alan – Hudson’s career has taken in some of world football’s most unlikely outposts.

Now, though, he finds himself a central part of the USA’s plans as they look to shock England and navigate their way out of Group B.

Given Hudson’s global experience, he’s the perfect man to map their route to the last 16.

Having been part of the USA coaching set-up that banished memories of their failure to make it to Russia in 2018, the former New Zealand and Bahrain boss insists he won’t be experiencing any feelings of split loyalties when the USA run out against England at the Al Bayt Stadium the day after Thanksgiving. And neither will his family.

“I just had a feeling this game was going to come up,” he says. “I called my family back home and they were just going crazy. Especially with my dad having played for England, it was nice, really nice.

“Look, my old man made his debut against West Germany (in 1975), and I’ve watched that game so many times.

“He was absolutely outstanding. I’m biased obviously but I can confidently say it was one of the best debut performances I’ve ever seen.”

Richard Edwards interviews Anthony Hudson: The Englishman plotting England’s World Cup downfall

The Englishman plotting England’s World Cup downfall

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

08:48 , Karl Matchett

England will look to secure their place in the last 16 of the World Cup when they face the United States, while Wales kick off Friday’s action against Iran in a crucial Group B match.

Hosts Qatar play their second Group A game against Senegal and the Netherlands take on Ecuador looking to maintain a perfect start.

On Thursday, Cristiano Ronaldo wrote his own piece of World Cup history as Portugal beat Ghana in their first Group H game, before pre-tournament favourites Brazil defeated Serbia 2-0 with a brace for Richarlison – but there was an injury scare for Neymar.

Uruguay and South Korea had earlier played out a tepid goalless draw, but Switzerland got their campaign up and running with a 1-0 win over Cameroon.

Here’s everything to look out for on Friday:

Today at the World Cup: England look to wrap up place in last 16

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

08:36 , Karl Matchett

Football and in-depth statistics are still relatively new neighbours who do not always sit comfortably alongside each other, but sometimes curiosities do not need to be particularly tricky to count or analyse. There is, for instance, the quirk that ahead of their World Cup 2022 meeting on Friday, England are yet to beat their USA counterparts in even a semi-competitive meeting.

Those don’t come around all too often, of course: the sum total of them is the 1950 World Cup, the 2010 World Cup and, sandwiched in between but stricken from the minds of many, the 1993 US Cup.

That one was intended as part warm-up, part acclimatising fixture ahead of the USA ‘94 World Cup – which England did not qualify for in the end. Perhaps fans and coaching staff alike should have seen that coming, after a 2-0 defeat at the Foxboro Stadium. The man who netted the second of those goals still remains the last to score for the USA in a men’s victory over England, and he also still remains an iconic figure in US men’s national team history: Alexi Lalas, then an instantly recognisable bearded centre-back, now an analyst on the USMNT and beyond.

Given he’s never one to be shy of making his point, the obvious question to Lalas is what to make of that winless streak in meaningful action for the Three Lions against the Stars and Stripes?

“Well, I think it’s obvious that when it matters, England chokes. It’s obvious that they’re scared to death of the United States,” he says. We’re off and running, then.

Karl Matchett interviews the former USMNT centre-back ahead of England vs USA:

‘Not just another World Cup game’: Why England must be prepared for USA rivalry

World Cup 2022: Latest news

08:24 , Karl Matchett

Japanese football fans won praise on social media after cleaning up Doha’s Khalifa International Stadium following their momentous win over Germany at the Qatar World Cup.

Japan came back from behind to win 2-1 thanks to second-half strikes by Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano, the latter with a brilliant individual goal which secured the Group E victory over the four-time world champions.

Video on social media showed Japanese fans filling rubbish bags with litter and rubbish from around their seats after the full-time whistle.

Such images have become commonplace at major tournaments and were also seen at the men’s World Cup in Russia four years ago, garnering praise from around the world after their team were knocked out of the tournament by Belgium in the round of 16.

Japan fans praised for cleaning up World Cup stadium after historic win over Germany

World Cup 2022: Latest news

08:12 , Karl Matchett

Good morning and welcome to the first day of the second round of group stage games. A quick recap of last night’s action is pertinent, given one notable injury.

Neymar was left in tears on the Brazil bench with an apparent ankle injury suffered in the win over Serbia at the World Cup.

The PSG star appeared to pick up the injury when tackled during a counter-attack in the second-half of the 2-0 win at the Lusail Stadium.

He continued to play on before being removed in the 79th minute before having ice taped to his ankle and was visibly distraught as team staff worked on him.

Asked why he had not made the decision earlier, coach Tite said: “I didn’t see Neymar was injured. The capacity he has to overcome it, it tricked me. I only saw it now when I watched the video.”

Neymar left in tears with ankle injury in Brazil World Cup win

England vs USA live stream: Where to watch World Cup fixture online and on TV

08:00 , Karl Matchett

England football take on United States in the second Group B clash at the World Cup, with the Three Lions having put themselves in a very strong position thanks to their big opening win over Iran.

Gareth Southgate will be hoping that Harry Kane recovers fully in time to play a part, though goalscoring attacking options off the bench looking in fine form will at least alleviate some concerns if he doesn’t make it.

For USA, there’s more pressure on them to find a result after failing to hold onto their lead against Wales. Gregg Berhalter may opt to shuffle the pack in midfield as a result, as they look to remain unbeaten at least.

England have actually never beaten USA in a World Cup game, with the Americans winning in 1950 and the two sides drawing in 2010.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the game.

Where to watch England vs USA online and on TV

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

07:45 , Karl Matchett

As England’s teenage football hero Jude Bellingham returns to the pitch in Qatar on Friday, friends and neighbours in his hometown of Stourbridge in the West Midlands are bursting with pride.

And none more so than his former primary school caretaker, who used to fetch the player’s lost ball down from the roof when he was a boy.

“It seemed to be a daily occurrence,” Mark Williams tells The Independent. “You could tell then he was quite a good little footballer and he was destined to be.”

“He did seem to do that more than any other child. It became a joke. Every day the ladders were out. I kept them on standby because of that reason.”

He adds: “He was a very pleasant lad. He always asked you to get the ball down nicely.”

Bellingham, 19, scored the opening goal for England as the team kicked off the Qatar World Cup with a 6-2 win against Iran this week.

This made the midfielder only the second teenager – after Michael Owen – to score for the Three Lions at a World Cup.

Jude Bellingham’s hometown proud of the lad who practised so much he wore the grass out:

Hometown pride for ‘lovely’ Jude Bellingham who practised so much he wore grass out

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

07:30 , Ben Burrows

One player that could have been a part of Southgate’s current crop but would slip through the net is Yunus Musah. Musah, 19, committed his international allegiance to the United States having represented England Under-19s in October 2020.

He played in friendlies for the US senior team the following month and opted to play for the country of his birth instead of sticking with England.

Asked what US coach Gregg Berhalter had done that impressed him, Southgate added: “Well, firstly, they have been very proactive on recruitment if you like, talent identification - obviously they took one of ours, which we weren’t very happy about but, fair play!

“With Yunus it was a strange situation because he was in our Under-19s and we went into the pandemic and lockdown so it wasn’t possible to travel and see games so he was a player that at that stage I had not had a lot of contact with in the junior teams.

“One or two of the others I knew a little bit better and that decision was made before I had the chance to get to know him well. We have a few players like that where the players weren’t actually born in England.

“Jamal Musiala (Germany international) was another one, but the guys that came the other way - Jack Grealish and Declan Rice (from the Republic of Ireland) so in the end you have to go with your heart and where you see yourself.”

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

07:00 , Ben Burrows

If England do achieve victory, it would ensure qualification for the round of 16 and would be enough to seal their progression as winners of Group B should Iran and Wales play out a draw earlier on Friday.

Southgate is looking to go one better than at last summer’s Euros, where England lost the final on penalties to Italy, three years on from reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

He believes his players are putting the nation back on the footballing map following such progression.

“We feel that we can be competitive for years to come and that has to be the aim really, to have a sustained challenge in the latter stages on the big competitions, we haven’t done that for years and years,” he added.

“These players are putting our country on the map really. They are regaining our respectability on the world stage and we’ve got to keep doing that.”

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

06:30 , Ben Burrows

Having Kane available could be crucial for England, who cantered to a 6-2 win over Iran to start their tournament with a bang.

But, having faced the US twice in previous tournaments, England are still without a win.

Defeat in 1950 still ranks as arguably the biggest World Cup upset of all time and the nations also drew 1-1 in 2010.

Southgate wants his players to make history by changing that record and claimed England often speak about their achievements without any real results to back it up.

“Have we ever beaten the States in a major tournament? No, I didn’t think so,” he added.

“Tomorrow we have to try and make history, number one. We are good at that, we are good at talking highly of ourselves as a nation on the basis of very little evidence.

“So what we’ve got to do is perform on the field and we know that we’ll play a highly motivated team but we’ve got huge respect for our opponent.”

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

06:00 , Ben Burrows

Gareth Southgate admits he would have to be a brave man to leave Harry Kane out of his team to face the United States after the England captain trained following an injury scare.

Kane underwent a scan on his foot after a heavy challenge during England’s opening World Cup win over Iran on Monday.

He played on for 25 minutes before being replaced by Callum Wilson but then had precautionary scans after leaving the stadium with light bandaging on his foot.

The Tottenham striker trained at England’s Al Wakrah training base on both Wednesday and Thursday and Southgate revealed he is fit to start against the US at Al Bayt Stadium on Friday evening.

Asked if Kane would be in the team, Southgate replied: “Harry’s good.

“He came through training no problems so yes, it would be a brave decision to leave him out of the starting team!”

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

05:00 , Ben Burrows

While England’s attacking players were rightly praised for their dominant display against Iran, Maguire enjoyed a satisfactory start to the tournament in defence.

The Manchester United skipper has been dropped by his club in recent weeks and was even jeered by sections of England supporters earlier in the year following a drop off in form.

But, having hit the crossbar and teed up Bukayo Saka for England’s second, he looked assured at the back until being forced off through illness with 20 minutes remaining.

“He’s done unbelievable,” Pickford said of Maguire.

“He was really good the other night. For the first goal with the pass, then the assist with the set-piece and maybe could have got us a penalty with the VAR that went against us.

“The majority of my caps have been with Harry playing in front of me and we work really well together. Our defensive record with Harry playing there is really good as well and he is in a very good moment.

“He needs to be respected a lot more but part of being a footballer is being criticised, as everyone gets criticised in football. But Harry is mentally strong and takes it really well.

“I think it’s a bit unfair but his performances on the pitch show why he has so many caps for England and is captain of Man United.”

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

04:00 , Ben Burrows

While many would have expected England to beat Iran, the emphatic scoreline would have impressed even the harshest critics.

Pickford believes the performance was even more impressive given some of the other results, including defeats for Argentina and Germany as well as three goalless draws.

“It was a great game, six goals in the first game - if you look at the previous record of Iran in the last number of games they are hard to beat and hard to break down,” added the Everton goalkeeper.

“We were very clinical in our approach. Six goals from 12 shots. The lads were outstanding.

“As a whole squad we want to keep clean sheets because we know how important they are through tournament football.

“You’re never going to be happy conceding a goal and we will build on to USA and hopefully get a clean sheet there.

“Iran’s record is very good and to manage to score six goals and win the first group game of the World Cup is a big statement as a team and to keep moving forward to the USA game.

“It is what World Cup football is all about. There are going to be surprises, there has been some tight games already, (some) 0-0s.

“There are always going to be surprises in World Cup games, Saudi Arabia played well and got the win.”

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

03:00 , Ben Burrows

Jordan Pickford is hoping England get fair treatment from officials after boss Gareth Southgate said he was “worried” that his side had been used as an example during pre-World Cup referee meetings.

England were denied what looked like a clear spot-kick when Harry Maguire was grabbed by Rouzbeh Cheshmi early on in their 6-2 win over Iran on Monday.

The VAR decided not to intervene but later alerted the referee to a tug on a shirt in the England box which resulted in Mehdi Taremi scoring a last-gasp penalty, while a similar offence resulted in a spot-kick in Argentina’s shock defeat to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

Fifa referees committee chairman Pierluigi Collina had singled out England during a pre-tournament briefing - also open to the media - showing a clip of Kalvin Phillips blocking to create space in the box for Maguire to score in England’s 5-0 World Cup qualifying win over Albania last year.

The Italian said such a goal would be disallowed at the World Cup and Southgate has been left with concerns about the potential ramifications of England being the team highlighted ahead of the finals.

Speaking after the Iran win, Southgate said he was concerned his side could miss out on penalties if the pre-tournament briefing clouded the judgement of officials.

Pickford, who was beaten by Taremi’s late penalty, wants England to still be treated fairly.

“It got brought up in the referee’s meeting which we were involved in but hopefully we get the fair side of it,” he said.

“It’s never going to be perfect. You’re never going to be happy all the time with VAR decisions but I think Harry’s one could have been a penalty from even my point of view. It can’t always be perfect from the referee’s side.

“We just hope we get the right decisions when we feel like we need them.”

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

02:00 , Ben Burrows

An England fans’ group have commended Germany’s protest against Fifa over the OneLove anti-discrimination armband.

The German team covered their mouths for the team photo before their opening World Cup match against Japan on Wednesday, to highlight they feel silenced by the game’s global governing body.

Seven European nations competing at the World Cup - including Germany, England and Wales - were due to wear the armbands as part of a year-long campaign, a move seen as especially significant in Qatar, a country where same-sex relationships are criminalised.

However, the threat of sporting sanctions from Fifa - starting with yellow cards for the captains wearing the armbands - forced the OneLove group to drop their plans on Monday.

Ashley Brown, from the Football Supporters’ Association’s England Fans’ Embassy, welcomed the German protest and believes England’s players will have taken note.

“For all its corporate messaging around diversity, and everyone being welcome, Fifa capitulated to intolerance when it banned players from wearing the One Love armband,” Brown said.

“Such was Fifa’s timing, falling on the morning of England’s World Cup opener, that players had little time to react and, understandably, by that stage were in game mode.

“Germany obviously had a little more time to think about how they would make their statement and they’re to be commended for making such an impactful and meaningful gesture.

“We’re sure that action hasn’t gone without notice in the England squad, many of the players have a track record in speaking up on social issues, and we’re certain they’d have approved.”

 (PA)
(PA)

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

01:00 , Ben Burrows

Harry Maguire came off against Iran feeling unwell but was involved in England training on Wednesday.

The Manchester United captain will join Southgate at Thursday’s pre-match press conference ahead of winning his 50th cap.

Callum Wilson did not train but is not believed to be a fitness doubt, while James Maddison was again absent as he recovers from a knee complaint that ruled him out against Iran.

Kyle Walker also trained and will be hoping to get his first minutes since undergoing groin surgery in October.

“I’m fit,” the right-back said. “I’ve been training now for two weeks and I feel sharp.

“Can you replicate what you do on a match day? Of course I can’t. Me and the physio, me and the fitness coach cannot have an 11 v 11 against each other.

“We can do as much as we can do before I have to go into training and kick a ball with the lads, so I feel good.”

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

00:00 , Ben Burrows

England captain Harry Kane trained ahead of Friday’s World Cup clash against the United States after Gareth Southgate laid to rest fears of a foot injury for the striker.

Kane suffered a knock after a clumsy challenge by Morteza Pouraliganji in England’s 6-2 win against Iran on Monday - the national team’s biggest ever win at the start of a major tournament.

The Spurs striker, who has a history of ankle problems, did play on for 25 minutes but was seen limping after the game and went for a precautionary scan.

Southgate revealed Kane had trained with the rest of the squad behind closed doors on Wednesday and he also joined his team-mates on the pitch at England’s Al Wakrah camp when the cameras were present on Thursday.

“He is good, he has worked a little bit more individually on Wednesday but he will back in with the team on Thursday and good for the game,” Southgate said on ITV.

“We just checked him out, just to see. I think sometimes when you are treating things it is important to know exactly what is there and that was all good.

“It is not so much the ankle. It is more the foot. It was a poor challenge really but I think it is one that fortunately we have got away with reasonably lightly.”

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

Thursday 24 November 2022 23:00 , Ben Burrows

England defender Harry Maguire never feared missing out on the World Cup despite his relatively indifferent form for Manchester United this season.

Maguire, who is no longer a first choice under United boss Erik ten Hag this season, is set to keep his place for England’s second Group B clash against the United States on Friday.

Maguire said: “I have great belief in myself. When I go on the training pitch I work as hard as possible and that gives you good preparation to perform to the best level.

“I want to be playing every week for my club, so I’m going to fight to get back into the team, but I feel fresh and I knew the World Cup was coming up so I put in the extra shifts.”

England defender Harry Maguire never feared missing out on the World Cup despite his relatively indifferent form for Manchester United this season.

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

Thursday 24 November 2022 22:37 , Ben Burrows

England and six other federations feared that their captains could have been issued a red card, and that there was essentially “unlimited liability”, had they worn the OneLove armband in their opening World Cup matches.

There wouldn’t even have been the prospect of an iconic photo, as any sanction would have been administered before the teams set out onto the pitch. It was for this reason that the federations were keen to take the decision out of the players’ hands, and not put them under any pressure.

The relatively small gesture of the armbands - a protest against Qatar’s laws and attitude to LGBTQ+ groups - has become one of the biggest issues in a hugely controversial World Cup. The German federation have already accused Fifa of “extreme blackmail” in discussions, and there was a genuine fear that it could have seen players such as Harry Kane, Virgil van Dijk and Gareth Bale suspended.

The England squad were discussing next steps in their team meeting on the eve of the match against the USA at Lusail Stadium, but the view is that they don’t want to rush into an ill-conceived gesture just to follow other sides. Germany covered their mouths for their official team photo before the Japan match to signify how they’d been “silenced”, to go with strong public statements.

“We’ll talk about these sorts of things,” John Stones said. “We don’t want to get carried away with what other people are doing. We want to stay true to our own values - but at the same time, we do want to make things heard and aware of, how we feel, we want to get everyone’s opinion across in the right way.

“I feel it’s really difficult at the minute to do that without upsetting peoples’ rules or whatever it might be. There’s a really fine line with all this and so far we’re trying to stick to our values and what we believe in as a team. Make sure we don’t get pushed over.”

England feared red card for those wearing OneLove armband at World Cup

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

Thursday 24 November 2022 22:00 , Ben Burrows

Southgate acknowledged that England have faced some criticism for dropping their plan to wear the armbands. Two other members of the OneLove group, Belgium and Switzerland, also declined to make gestures during their respective opening matches.

“We’re definitely highly supportive of our LGBTQ fanbase and I know some of them feel a little disappointed in terms of the armband not being worn,” added Southgate.

“We will be criticised for that, but sometimes we’ve just got to accept the criticism and move on with it. I think if we’re confident about ourselves and where we stand, we shouldn’t worry about needing to do something (in order) to be seen to be doing it.”

It is understood Germany will face no disciplinary action from Fifa under Article 11 of the code. It states anyone “using a sports event for demonstrations of a non-sporting nature” may be sanctioned.

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

Thursday 24 November 2022 20:59 , Ben Burrows

Gareth Southgate has not ruled out his England team making a gesture to highlight human rights concerns at the Qatar World Cup but says they will not be pressured into doing so.

The German team covered their mouths for the team photo before their opening World Cup match against Japan on Wednesday, while the Australia squad released a video highlighting issues in the host country.

Seven European nations competing at the World Cup - including Germany, England and Wales - planned to wear OneLove anti-discrimination armbands during the tournament, but were dissuaded from doing so following the threat of sporting sanctions from FIFA.

Southgate, whose team face the United States in their second match on Friday, said: “I don’t think we should feel any pressure - I think we’ve spoken on these particular topics for over a year and we’ve supported all manner of good causes either as individuals or the collective.

“I think there’s a risk that everybody tries to escalate - if we tried to do a better video than Australia did, that would be impossible; whether we try to come up with a better gesture than Germany.

“I think we’ve got to be comfortable that we know what we stand for. That’s not to say we won’t do anything moving forward if the timing’s right, but I think we are rushing to be seen to be doing something, we could make an error that doesn’t land well.”

 (PA)
(PA)

Thursday 24 November 2022 20:00 , Ben Burrows

Gareth Southgate has insisted he would not be getting carried away following Monday’s convincing victory over Iran.

“We’re good at talking highly of ourselves as a nation and on the basis of very little evidence,” he added. “What we’ve got to do is perform on the field.

“We know we’ll be playing a highly motivated team, but we’ve got huge respect for our opponents, we know a lot of them from our league and we know the quality and athleticism they have.

“The risk for us is that we think because we played well the other day we can just go through to the next game.

“We’ve got to find that reset button to have the same psychology and determination. So I don’t think we will be underestimating the USA team at all.”

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

Thursday 24 November 2022 19:00 , Ben Burrows

Gareth Southgate said it would be a “brave decision” to leave Harry Kane out of his England starting line-up against the United States after confirming the striker had come through training with a clean bill of health.

Kane suffered a knock after a clumsy challenge by Morteza Pouraliganji in England’s 6-2 win against Iran on Monday - the national team’s biggest ever win at the start of a major tournament.

The Spurs striker, who has a history of ankle problems, did play on for 25 minutes but was seen limping after the game and went for a precautionary scan.

However, Kane has returned to training without issue and Southgate suggested his captain will feature from the start on Friday.

“Harry’s good,” he said. “He came through training, no problems, so it would be a brave decision to leave him out of the starting team.”

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

Thursday 24 November 2022 18:01 , Ben Burrows

There will be a strong Premier League contingent in the US side on Friday, with Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic and Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner joined by the Fulham duo of Antonee Robinson and Tim Ream.

Leeds’ Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams join them in the set-up, with the latter hoping to skipper the side to a famous win on Friday.

“It would mean a lot,” the 23-year-old captain said as the US look to maintain their unbeaten World Cup record against England, which includes a famous 1-0 win in 1950 and 1-1 draw 60 years later.

“I think most importantly it would mean a lot to the team because we’ve been trying to progress this thing along for the past three years.

“We’ve been moving in the right direction so I think ultimately capitalising tomorrow would mean we’re continuing to move in the right direction.”

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

Thursday 24 November 2022 18:00 , Ben Burrows

United States boss Gregg Berhalter called England a “formidable opponent” and praised Gareth Southgate to the hilt - despite being ignoring by the England manager ahead of Friday’s World Cup clash.

An impressive 6-2 victory against Iran in Monday’s Group B opener means Southgate’s men will seal progress to the last 16 with a match to spare if they beat the US in Al Khor.

The States head into Friday’s Al Bayt Stadium encounter looking to build on their 1-1 draw with Wales but Berhalter is wary of the threat posed by England, who he called a “scary” prospect in the build-up.

The US boss has praised Southgate for making the England shirt “a cape rather than a straitjacket” since taking over at a low ebb in 2016, before leading them to the World Cup semi-finals and last year’s Euros final.

“I think when he first took over it was very similar to the position that I first took over,” said Berhalter, who was appointed in late 2018 as the US rebuilt after failing to reach that year’s World Cup.

“Trying to reshape the identity of the team, refocus, working with a younger group of players, so in that case very similar.

“Just following some of the things over the last months, the pressure in the English media, or in England in general, is tremendous and I think that’s different.

“These guys (in the US media) give me a hard time every once in a while, but I don’t think it’s of the magnitude that Gareth gets it.

“But we all know this is a result-orientated business and we’re all held accountable for results on the field.

“I think he’s done a great job. I’ve been saying for the last year-and-a-half that his record at major tournaments has been outstanding and there’s no denying that - fourth place finish in 2018, second place finish at the Euros.

“He’s done a great job with his team. They got off to a great start and they’re a formidable opponent. It’s going to be a difficult game for us.”

World Cup 2022: England vs USA

Thursday 24 November 2022 17:59 , Ben Burrows

England take on the USA in Group B of the World Cup on Friday in Qatar. The Three Lions won their opening game in style against Iran, cruising to a 6-2 victory as Bukayo Saka, Jude Bellingham, Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish all on the scoresheet for Gareth Southgate’s side.

Harry Kane has shaken off an injury scare and is fit to play after undergoing a scan on his ankle this week, while Harry Maguire has also declared himself ready to start following an illness.

England will want to end an unwanted record and claim their first victory over the USA at a World Cup. The USA famously defeated England at the 1950 World Cup, before Rob Green’s error resulted in a 1-1 draw in South Africa in 2010.

This USA side arrived in Qatar with lofty expectations but were held in their opener by Wales, despite dominating the first half. Greg Berhalter’s side could not handle the physicality of Kieffer Moore but will look for a response at the Al Bayt Stadium.

Southgate warned he expects a different level of opposition from the Americans after England enjoyed a relatively easy opener against Iran.

"I think tomorrow's game will be very different to the first match," added Southgate. "They are a team that press the ball really well and who have, with respect, probably a level of player that has more experience of playing in top-level European leagues.

"In terms of tomorrow's game, it's not going to be the pattern of the previous one."