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World Cup: USA draw leaves questions for England to answer

The ecstasy from England's 6-2 thumping of Iran has quickly evaporated after Friday's 0-0 draw against the USA, a result that brought up the same old issues for the Three Lions.

Having suffered relegation from League A of the Nations League ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, confidence levels within the English camp were not what they were heading into the European Championships last summer. 

But the Three Lions opened their campaign in Qatar in spectacular fashion, slotting six past Iran in a convincing 6-2 victory and earning plaudits for their creativity and incisiveness in the final third. 

Spirits were high after that triumph and a victory over the USA, who drew 1-1 with Wales in their opener, was expected. 

Unfortunately for England they put on a laboured show against the Stars and Stripes and had it not been for some poor finishing and the crossbar, Gareth Southgate's troops - who are 17/2 to lift the Jules Rimet trophy for the first time since 1966 - could have been on the end of a defeat. 

As it was, they managed to see out a 0-0 draw and claim a share of the spoils.

Southgate slow to change it up 

There is no denying the great job Southgate has done since being appointed England boss, having led the country to the World Cup semi-finals in 2018 before being edged out in the European Championships final on penalties by Italy. 

However, the 52-year-old has been criticised in the past for not making substitutions quick enough, notably in the World Cup semi-final defeat to Croatia, and this same issue cropped up again on Friday against the USA. 

It took until the 68th minute for Southgate to make alterations to his side, and although Jack Grealish coming on for Raheem Sterling looked like a decent change, the introduction of Jordan Henderson for Jude Bellingham looked passive and defensive. 

Marcus Rashford was brought on for Bukayo Saka in the 78th minute, a like-for-like switch, but that was the last substitution made and it left serious questions about Southgate's ability to make the big calls when required in pressure situations. 

Harry Kane and Mason Mount didn't have fantastic matches against the USA, so you may have thought the likes of Callum Wilson and Phil Foden would have been given a chance to impress off the bench. 

Southgate has always had a pragmatic approach to games and if this plan doesn't work, criticism will usually be coming his way.

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No need to panic...yet 

While frustration levels still run high in the aftermath of the stalemate, it's worth remembering that England drew 0-0 against Scotland in the second game at the European Championships before going on to reach the final, so all hope should not be lost. 

The Three Lions are almost in the last-16 stage of this World Cup and their place in the knockouts will be confirmed if they avoid defeat to Wales in their final group game, while a victory for Southgate's side would secure top spot in Group C. 

England, who are 1/6 to win Group C, are 2/5 to pick up the win over 15/2 Wales and the draw is priced at 7/2

Will Southgate mix it up? 

There will be calls for Southgate to make changes to his starting XI for the Wales contest, but history suggests the manager will stick to his guns and keep faith with the trusted players in his squad. 

Sterling and Mount are two individuals that continue to get backed on the international stage, but their disappointing showings against the USA could potentially give other players a chance to shine. 

Manchester City star Foden is pushing for a start and he is 12/5 to score anytime against the Dragons, while he is 13/2 to open the scoring.  

Tottenham striker Kane is yet to get off the mark in the World Cup and although he came through the USA draw unscathed, a rest could do him some good. 

Newcastle's Wilson will be itching to get another opportunity for his country, having come on as a substitute in the win over Iran and registering an assist, and he is 13/8 to score anytime on Tuesday.

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