The wait for the start of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar is almost over, as the best players from around the world will represent their Nations in trying to win the most prestigious prize in world soccer, the FIFA World Cup.
As for this piece, we will maintain our focus on Group B (England, Iran, United States, and Wales). It can be argued that Group B should earn the famous “Group of Death” name. The average FIFA world ranking for the 4 teams is the highest of any group, with all 4 teams being ranked within the Top 25 of the most recent rankings. England are the clear favorites to win the group, although they struggled in the Nations League, but who will join them in the knockout stages?
LIVE TABLE: GROUP B
England (0W-0D-0L) vs Iran (0W-0D-0L)
Date: Monday, 11/21/2022 at 08:00 AM EST
Pitch: Khalifa International Stadium, Qatar
Moneyline: | ENG: -450 | TIE: +550 | IRN: +1100 |
Spread: | ENG: -1 (+110) | IRN: +1 (+220) |
Total: 2.5 | Over: (+124) | Under: (-150) |
|England Last 5 Results (0W-3D-2L)|
|Iran Last 5 Results (3W-1D-1L)|
- FIFA World Rankings: England (5th) / Iran (23rd)
- Odds to win 2022 FIFA World Cup: England (+800) / Iran (+50000)
- Odds to win Group B: England (-304) / Iran (+1800)
- England finished 4th in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2nd in the 2020 Euros.
- Iran was eliminated in the group stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and haven’t made it past the Group Stage in it’s previous 5 appearances (2W-4D-9L).
- This is the first head-to-head matchup against England and Iran.
England are the favorite to win Group B and all of the pressure will be on them as they look to get their first FIFA World Cup win in 56 years. England have been to 19 World Cups and only been knocked out of the group stages twice. Under Garreth Southgate, England have made it to the World Cup Semi-Finals in 2018 and to the Finals of the Euros in 2020. If you are a soccer fan then you know England’s roster is stacked which is why they are within the top 5 teams expected to win this tournament.
On the other hand, this is Iran’s 6th World Cup and they have yet to make it to the kockout rounds. In the previous 5 World Cup appearances Iran have managed only 2 wins and have an abyssmal -15 goal differential. However, Iran is ranked 23th in the 2022 FIFA World Rankings and they are not a team to be overlooked. Former Manchester United Assistant Coach, Carlos Queiroz has formed a team that is extremely boring, stunningly effective and built on defense. They don’t score often, mainly relying on the counter attack, but they also don’t concede. They have a key draw against African Cup of Nations Champion Senegal and win against 14th ranked Uruguay.
This is a tough group but in this is THE must win matchup for England. They will be without key defenders Reece James and Ben Chilwell, but it honestly shouldn’t be too much of an issue. The Iranians have only averaged 0.6 goals per game and are conceding nearly 2 in their previous World Cup matches, whereas England scored more goals in the 2018 World Cup alone then the Iranians have in 5 World Cup appearances. Iran are tough defensively and it might take England some time to break them down, but they eventually will. I expect England to win, but I don’t think it’ll be a relaxing win.
PREDICTION: ENGLAND 2 – 0 IRAN
United States (0-0-0) vs Wales (0-0-0)
Date: Monday, 11/21/2022 at 3:00 PM EST
Pitch: Al Rayyan Stadium, Qatar
Moneyline: | HOME: -160 | TIE: +320 | AWAY: +420 |
Spread: | USA: -1 (+490) | WAL: +1 (-220) |
Total: 2.5 | Over: (+154) | Under: (-190) |
|United States Last 5 Results (1W-3D-1L)|
|Wales Last 5 Results (0W-1D-4L)|
- FIFA World Rankings: United States (14th) / Wales (19th)
- Odds to win 2022 FIFA World Cup: United States (+15000) / Wales (+20000)
- Odds to win Group B: United States (+550) / Wales (+600)
- The United States & Wales both failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFa World Cup.
- The United States has a 1-1-0 (W-D-L) record against Wales in its’ last two head-to-head matches
Coach Greg Berhalter is excited about his young star studded roster and us Americans are looking forward to the start of the 2022 World Cup. The USA has had trouble scoring as of late but for the first time in a while we have the potential of watching Gio Reyna, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Brenden Aaronson and Christian Pulisic all on the pitch together! If Berhalter can find someone to consistently score goals and also find a central defender (Miles Robinson injured) to help Walker Zimmerman prevent them, the USA will have a great shot at not only winning this game, but also reaching the knockout stages for the 6th time in 10 World Cup appearances.
Wales have not been in the World Cup in 68 years, and ever since securing their place via a playoff win they have lost 4 of their last 5 matches. They have no real young stars but they have experience. Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey will provide the goal threat while stikers Kieffer Moore and Brennan Johnson will likely lead the line up front.
Will Wales’ experience be enough to keep up with the young energetic legs of the United States? I don’t think so. Wales have lost 4 of their last 5 matches and have only kept one clean sheet in a run of 9 matches. This is a HUGE game for these two teams….England are the favorites, Iran are expected to be at the bottom, but who is going to get second? Chances are, we will find out on Monday. Both teams will be desperate to avoid defeat in the opening game. I’m expecting a tight and tense match between these two evenly matched squads, but the United States will sneak by with 3 points.