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ENGLAND put on an exhilarating show in their World Cup opener against Iran.

But Gareth Southgate has firmly shifted his focus to game two - the USA.

5England got their World Cup 2022 campaign off to a flyer with a 6-2 win over IranCredit: Getty 5 5

A win will see the Three Lions progress to the last 16.

.. in fact, a draw might be enough thanks to their goal difference.

But the Americans will no doubt prove to be a sterner test than Iran.

And following their draw against Wales, USA will be itching to bounce back and keep their dream of reaching the knockout stages alive.

SunSport takes a look at what to expect from the big game... including score prediction.

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England: After a tricky year to date, the Three Lions came out of the blocks firing in Qatar.

England raced to a 6-2 win over Iran and were unfortunate to even concede a second via a controversial penalty.

Goals came from all over the pitch, with a number of standout performers in the game, especially Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham.

Read the full England vs Iran report...

USA: Dominated the first-half of their match against Wales, leading 1-0 at half-time.

But they didn't bring the same intensity in the second period, allowing Gareth Bale - largely-anonymous during the match - to slot home a late, equalising penalty.

Read the full USA vs Wales report...

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5 Any injuries to worry about?

England: James Maddison has already been ruled out of the game as he continues to recover from the knee injury he suffered before the tournament.

Kyle Walker is back in training to put himself in contention for a starting spot against the Americans.

Harry Kane is hoping to lead the line after a scan confirmed no serious damage to his ankle following a knock in the win over Iran.

Harry Maguire is expected to be ready for England's second game after being taken off against Iran due to illness, having taken part in subsequent training sessions.

USA: Gregg Berhalter has no injury concerns for the game against England.

5 Who will be the star men?

England: It would be very easy to say Harry Kane, but Jude Bellingham can be Southgate's No1 player this summer.

The Three Lions have lacked a player like Bellingham in recent years, someone to link the midfield and attack.

Rice and Phillips have always performed admirably together for England, but lacked a certain attacking threat.

Bellingham, alongside Rice and Mount, can be the perfect player to help unlock stubborn defences,

He wasted no time showing the world what he can do with a scintillating performance against Iran.

USA: It's hard to look past Christian Pulisic.

The Chelsea star knows plenty about this England team thanks to his time in the Premier League and, on his day, he can be unstoppable.

However, Southgate will also have to pay attention to roaming right-back Sergino Dest - on loan at AC Milan from Barcelona - and Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie.

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The Three Lions have taken on America 11 TIMES in history, winning eight and losing just twice - in 1950 and 1993.

Most-recently, England won a 2018 friendly 3-0 thanks to goals from Jesse Lingard, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Callum Wilson.

In their last World Cup meeting, England famously slipped to a 1-1 draw in the 2010 opener following a Rob Green howler.


England 4/7

Draw 10/3

USA 26/5

SunSport prediction

England 3 USA 1

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Tags: world cup 2022 the three lions world cup opener jude bellingham the three lions their world cup the americans against wales read the full against iran following for england

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Harry Kane inspired by former idols David Beckham and Wayne Rooney as he captains England’s World Cup charge

HARRY KANE takes inspiration from former idols David ­Beckham and Wayne Rooney as he chases World Cup glory.

Kane spoke to one-time England captain Beckham when Goldenballs visited the squad’s training base during the group stage.

3Marry Kane's biggest idol is David Beckham, who he met in 2005 when the current Three Lions' skipper was aged 11Credit: Rex Features 3Wayne Rooney's reaction to becoming England's record scorer has stayed in the mind of Kane and now the striker needs one more to equal that mark of 53Credit: Getty

And after moving to within one goal of Rooney’s all-time Three Lions record, the Spurs striker revealed how another predecessor as skipper is driving him on to greatness.

Kane, who famously met Beckham as a kid, said: “Becks went to my secondary school, Chingford Foundation. We both played for Ridgeway Rovers, our Sunday league team.

“He was my biggest idol when I was growing up. He was here the other day. We had a good chat.

“He was one of the best captains we ever had.

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“I didn’t just ask questions about games or how he felt, it was more just getting to know his experiences, how he feels about our team, what he sees in our team.

“We had a chat about loads of things. He’s really excited for the national side. He loves watching us play.

“It’s great to have support from ex-players. They know how much it means to represent your country. They’re all part of the team.”

Beckham visited the England squad after a training session at the invitation of Three Lions boss, and former international team-mate, Gareth Southgate.

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Former Manchester United and Real Madrid superstar Beckham won 115 caps.

And Goldenballs’ free-kick winner in the last-16 victory over Ecuador at the 2006 finals means he is still the only Englishman to have scored in three separate World Cups.

Becks also netted in 1998, against Colombia, and 2002, the winner against Argentina, as well as appearing at the 2000 and 2004 Euros.

But he suffered “the worst moment of my career” when he was sent off against Argentina for a petulant kick at Diego Simeone in 1998 and England crashed out on penalties.

Kane, 29, never got to play alongside Beckham, but was on the pitch when Rooney broke Sir Bobby Charlton’s goal record with a penalty against Switzerland in 2015.

That was Rooney’s 50th international goal and the Manchester United legend finished with 53 strikes in all from 120 appearances.

Kane’s rocket shot in Sunday’s 3-0 win over Senegal puts him on 52 — and he has his sights set firmly on Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final with France.

Kane said: “The record was not something I was thinking about at the start.

3ENFIELD, ENGLAND – MAY 22: Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur meets David Beckham during the Tottenham Hotspur training session at Tottenham Hotspur Training Centre on May 22, 2019 in Enfield, England. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)Credit: Getty - Contributor

“I was playing when Wayne Rooney broke the record and saw how much it meant to him.

“A few months later he had a trophy presented to him (to commemorate the record) and said he wanted me to present it because he thought I’d go and break the record.

"Praise from him, someone I looked up to my whole life watching England and playing with him meant a lot.

“When he said that, I thought ‘maybe that’s something I can achieve.’”

Kane’s goal against Senegal took him ahead of Gary Lineker as England’s most prolific striker at major tournaments, with 11.

Kane told the Lions’ Den with M&S Food: “It’s hard when you are in it and you’re thinking about the next game, thinking about France and getting through.

“When I’ve finished playing I’m sure I will look back and be extremely proud and I’ll be extremely proud whenever I do break the record.

“If I was a teenager watching I’d be so excited and be in awe but it’s a different feeling when you’re in among it.

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done, he keeps pushing you.

Kane on Henderson

“If it can be at this tournament, it would be nice, as it would probably mean the team are doing well as well — we’ll have to see.

“It was nice to get that one against Senegal and get one step closer.”
Kane is doing his best to match and surpass the standards set by the two former England captains.

But he also appreciates the role that Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson is playing as he and the team bid to become Qatar heroes.

Henderson — a Champions League and Premier League winner with Liverpool — set England on their way with the opening goal against Senegal and Kane said: “Hendo is one of the best leaders I’ve played with.

“He is very vocal, he pushes players to go to the max and that’s why he’s been great.

“He is outstanding with and without the ball and he is pushing everyone. The way we have been pressing, it’s good to hear him pushing you on.

“We have different types of leader — we maybe have four or five different types of personalities but people have big personalities and he’s one of them.

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“And it doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done, he keeps pushing you.

“It was great for him to score and a lot of the good stuff we’ve done is down to his role in the team.”

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