By Kevin Mooney
With just over a week until the world's attention is focused on South Africa, the squads have been selected and the teams are in final preparations for World Cup 2010. One of the most anticipated matches of the group stages takes place on June 12 when England takes on the United States in Rustenburg.
England are among the top-rated teams in the world and heavily favoured to win Group C, but Arsène Wenger, for one, is not discounting the US team's ability to step up their game for big matches.
"America, don't forget, beat Spain in the Confederations Cup," he told the Arsenal magazine. "They are a team who prepare well, they have a competitive mentality and seem to be able to raise their game when it matters."
"They can make it difficult for England. In the first game, everyone is so motivated and it makes it harder to predict."
This match-up takes place 60 years after one of the biggest upsets in football history. In the First Round of the 1950 World Cup in Brazil, the Americans, a rag-tag group of semi-professionals, staged the ‘Miracle on Grass' by beating the England team, who were widely regarded as the best in the world.
Arsenal will not be represented at the USA-England match, but there are 11 Gunners lining up for the countries at the tournament.
This interview first appeared in the Official Arsenal Magazine. To subscribe to the magazine click here or call the Subscription Line on 0845 880 0445.
Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 4 Jun 2010