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How USA could line up against Iran

How USA could line up against Iran

USA head coach Gregg Berhalter has tough decisions to make in numerous positions ahead of a crucial clash with Iran in Group B at the World Cup.

With no fresh injury concerns after an impressive display and point against England, attention turned to the lack of gametime received by Giovanni Reyna on Friday night, with the Borussia Dortmund man being a very late substitute in the game where the Stars and Stripes had a leggy England team on the back foot.

Issues have been raised about the 20-year-old’s fitness before this tournament, but boss Berhalter deemed Reyna fully fit ahead of the Three Lions match yet continued to start Christian Pulisic and Timothy Weah ahead of him in wide-attacking positions, suggesting he might be out of favour with the coach.

Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner will start in goal for USA once again, with an unchanged centre-back partnership of Tim Ream and Walker Zimmerman in front of him as the Stars and Stripes look for consecutive clean sheets.

The pace and power of both Antonee Robinson and Sergino Dest stood out for USA in that stalemate with Gareth Southgate‘s men, and it would be a major shock to see either drop out of the side considering all other full-back options for Berhalter play their club football in the MLS.

Tyler Adams, Yunus Musah and Weston McKennie have formed an energetic and busy trio in the USA midfield, impressing with their pressing and technical ability in both of their matches so far.

Brenden Aaronson for the aforementioned McKennie has been Berhalter’s first substitution in both the Wales and England matches, but that midfield three should remain the same when they face Iran given they are able to recover well enough by Tuesday night.

The most contested position in the USA starting XI appears to be the forward slot in the front three, with Norwich’s Josh Sargent being dropped in favour of Haji Wright for the fixture against England.

Much has been said about poor finishing from the likes of Pulisic and McKennie last time out, with the lack of a proven goalscorer at international level preventing USA from having knockout qualification already wrapped up.

Twenty-one-year-old Jesus Ferreira has just finished an 18-goal campaign with FC Dallas in the MLS and could be a third number nine in as many games to partner Pulisic and Weah in the attacking spots, but Berhalter will likely stick with Antalyaspor’s Wright who only trails Enner Valencia in the Super Lig’s goalscoring charts this season.

USA possible starting lineup: Turner; Dest, Zimmerman, Ream, Robinson; Adams, Musah, McKennie; Pulisic, Weah, Wright

> Click here to see how Iran could line up for this fixture

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