The World Cup is just six days away! To prepare for the matches and drama that will play on the world stage, Philly Sports Network is previewing the eight groups and 32 nations competing to be champions of the world! Group B has European giant England, 20th-ranked Iran, the forever-underdogs USA, and a nation that hasn’t been at the World Cup in 68 years, Wales!
Group B: Goliath and three Davids ready to knock them off
Group B has one favorite; The fifth-ranked team in the world will go toe-to-toe with teams ranked 16th, 19th, and 20th. Let’s take a look at the four nations that will be competing to get out of Group B.
- England (5th)
- Iran (19th)
- USA (16th)
- Wales (20th)
The favorites, England should top this group. However, who gets out of the group with them seems to be a toss-up. USA, Iran, and Wales are all evenly matched; it could essentially be a coinflip in the matches where those teams play each other. The nations who get out of this group should be the English Goliath, and a David that is able to perform best against them; but this is the World Cup, and crazy things occur in this tournament.
England looking to assert their dominance.
England is the top-ranked team in Group B, and they have the third-best odds to top a group at the World Cup at 63.02%. The English made the semifinals in the 2018 edition of the tournament, but their recent form has been not-so-good heading into this World Cup.
In their last six matches, England has drawn three times and lost three times. They look like a shell of the team that went through European qualifying. In qualifying, England scored 39 goals and let in only three. That is the potential of this England team, and if they can put those types of performances together at the World Cup, then they should top the group.
England begins its 2022 World Cup playing Iran on the second day of the tournament. A convincing win would show the World that they are a favorite; anything less than that could bring doubt about them.
Iran will try to do what it never has done.
Iran has never progressed out of a group-stage at the men’s World Cup. They have been to six World Cups before 2022, and each time they failed to finish in the top two of their group. The 2022 version of Iran is one that is a defensive-minded team.
In World Cup qualifying, Iran allowed just four goals in 10 matches. This defensive record helped them make the 2022 tournament, and that’s something they’re hoping can carry them out of Group B. Iran has trouble scoring goals in this tournament averaging 0.6 goals per match in their 15 World Cup matches.
Iran will open their 2022 tournament against mighty England. If their strong defense can stifle England, and preserve a point, then this nation will have confidence that they can make it out of a group-stage for the first time ever
Can the USA make a knockout round run?
The United States is back at the men’s World Cup after not making the 2018 iteration of the tournament. The USA has managed to move on from its past generation and has brought up young stars that are looking to take the World by storm. The US Men’s National Team (USMNT) has the second highest odds to get out of Group B, but will they be able to?
The USMNT made it through CONCACAF qualifying as the third place team finishing behind Canada and Mexico. Still, they did enough to get back to the World Cup. In recent friendlies against other nations that made the 2022 tournament, the USMNT has a record of one win, two draws, and one loss. That’s not the best record, but this team which is one of the youngest at this World Cup is hungry to make another run to the knockout rounds.
The USA starts its 2022 men’s World Cup by playing Wales on the second day of the tournament. Getting points from this match is crucial to their knockout-round hopes. They’ll need a complete performance to get the points they crave against Wales.
Wales is back in the World Cup after 68 years!
Wales is back in the World Cup for the first time since 1958! They are a team that has been on the rise over the last six years or so. They made the semifinals of the Euro 2016 tournament, and the knockout round of the 2020 Euros. Wales was the darling-dark-horse of those tournaments now they look to be the same type of team at the 2022 World Cup.
In UEFA qualifying, Wales did things the hard way. They qualified through the playoff rounds where they dispatched Austria and Ukraine in one-game playoffs. Now, they’ll look to use their collective team spirit, which is perpetuated by their tiny tenacious nation who are all behind them, to push them to glory at their first men’s World Cup in 68 years!
Wales takes on the USA on the second day of the tournament. If they can get points out of this match, then Wales could be on their way to making it to the knockout rounds, and of course, all eyes will be on their final group stage match against natural rivals and neighboring country, England!
Group B Matches
- England vs Iran – Monday, Nov. 21 – 8 am ET
- USA vs Wales – Monday, Nov. 21 – 2 pm ET
- Wales vs Iran – Friday, Nov. 25 – 5 am ET
- England vs USA – Friday, Nov. 25 – 2 pm ET
- Wales vs England – Tuesday, Nov. 29 – 2 pm ET
- Iran vs USA – Tuesday, Nov. 29 – 2 pm ET
Don’t miss out on PSN’s other World Cup group previews
Be sure to return to Philly Sports Network for more Philadelphia Union and other soccer content!
Follow our Union team on Twitter:
Doop on Union fans!
Mandatory Credit: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire