Off the back of an emphatic victory in their opening 2022 World Cup fixture, England will endeavour to boost their hopes of securing top spot in Group B when they lock horns with USA at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor on Friday evening.
The Three Lions began their campaign by hitting Iran for six on Monday, while the Stars and Stripes were forced to share the spoils with Wales in their opening clash.
Following memorable highs of reaching the World Cup semi-finals four years ago and then the final of Euro 2020, optimism surrounding Gareth Southgate's squad had dipped heading to Qatar after a disappointing winless UEFA Nations League campaign.
However, the nation's hopes were boosted in emphatic style as the Three Lions roared to a 6-2 victory in their opening group game against Iran, their biggest-ever win in the first match of a major tournament.
Bukayo Saka scored either side of strikes from Jude Bellingham and Raheem Sterling in a dominant first-half showing, before substitutes Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish got their names on the scoresheet after the break.
Southgate took plenty of positives from his side's performance in a contest which saw nearly half an hour of stoppage time across the two halves, but he was left "fed up" after Porto's Mehdi Taremi netted two consolation goals for Iran. Indeed, the England boss has called for his players to improve their focus against a "full-throttle" USA outfit on Friday.
After claiming maximum points against Iran, England will look to win their opening two group matches at the World Cup for a fourth time when they face USA, having previously done so in 1982, 2006 and 2018. Their second fixture at the last World Cup saw Southgate and co cruise to a 6-1 victory against Panama, who missed out on a place in Qatar after finishing behind USA in CONCACAF qualifying.
England have won eight of their 11 meetings with USA across all competitions, scoring 39 goals in the process, and they will be keen to increase this tally to nine on Friday as they bid to move one step closer to the last 16
After missing out on the 2018 World Cup, USA began their campaign in Qatar with a 1-1 draw against Wales on Monday, in a game they were leading until a certain Los Angeles FC star restored parity.
Timothy Weah initially fired the Stars and Stripes into a deserved lead nine minutes before the interval, but as Gregg Berhalter's side lost their spark in the second half, Wales stepped up their efforts and had their talisman Gareth Bale to thank for netting a crucial 82nd-minute equaliser from the penalty spot, after Walker Zimmerman clumsily scythed down the LAFC forward inside the area.
Berhalter has since been criticised back in the States, but the 49-year-old – who briefly represented Crystal Palace in his playing days – believes his team "left everything out there" and remains hopeful of securing a place in the knockout rounds.
USA managed to progress from the group stage at their previous two World Cup finals, finishing second ahead of Portugal in 2014 before securing top spot ahead of England in 2010. Indeed, a memorable 1-1 draw in their last meeting against the Three Lions – which saw Robert Green fumble a Clint Dempsey strike – helped the Americans to finish above Fabio Capello's men on goal difference.
The Stars and Stripes head into Friday's contest unbeaten in their previous two World Cup meetings with England, including a shock 1-0 group-stage triumph back in 1950, and similar heroics will be required if they wish to come away with at least a point at the Al Bayt Stadium.
England have been boosted by the news that captain Harry Kane has not suffered a serious injury to his ankle following a scan on Wednesday – the 29-year-old has since trained with the first-team squad and is expected to retain his place up front.
Southgate could name the same starting lineup that began against Iran, with centre-back Harry Maguire – who has recovered from illness – set to keep his place in the back four alongside Kieran Trippier, John Stones and Luke Shaw.
Kyle Walker has declared himself fit to feature against USA and has taken part in training after recovering from groin surgery, but the Manchester City defender is not expected to start, with an appearance off the bench to build up match fitness more likely.
James Maddison is yet to return to training with the Three Lions due to a knee problem and the playmaker remains doubtful for Friday's clash, with Bellingham, Declan Rice and Mason Mount all poised to start again in centre-midfield.
As for USA, Weston McKennie and Yunus Musah came off with respective groin and toe problems in the draw with Wales, but the midfield duo should be fit to retain their places in the first XI alongside captain Tyler Adams.
Indeed, Adams is one of eight British-based players at club level in Berhalter's squad, and the Leeds United man is set to start in front of a back four consisting of Fulham duo Tim Ream and Antonee Robinson, while Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner should keep his place between the sticks.
Chelsea's Christian Pulisic is expected to continue in the front three alongside Timothy Weah and Norwich City's Joshua Sargent, although Borussia Dortmund's Giovanni Reyna will be hoping to force his way into the attack after watching on as an unused substitute last time out.
Leeds' Brendan Aaronson and Celtic's Cameron Carter-Vickers were both named on the bench against Wales, with the former coming on in the second half, and both players are set to begin as substitutes again on Friday.