The 2022 World Cup, which will be hosted in the winter for the first time in the competition’s history, is rapidly approaching. Every group is intriguing in its own way, but Group B may be more than any other.
The group captured our special attention as it was completed after Wales beat Ukraine in the European playoff final. The Dragons joined the trio teams of England, the USA, and Iran.
As Wales qualified for the World Cup after 64 years of drought, they will fiercely fight for a better placement in the tournament.
But let’s go step by step, look at the Group and how things could pan out, featuring one of the pre-tournament favorites England and the ever intriguing United States.
Despite their outstanding soccer reputation, England hasn’t won a World Cup since 1966. In the last World Cup tournament, they advanced to the semifinals, where they lost the match with Belgium (2:0).
The team reached a better placement in the UEFA Euro Cup 2021, where they ended up with a silver medal after losing the game against Italy.
Gareth Southgate’s team comes with very high hopes for the 2022 World Cup. The combination of young and experienced stars like Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, and Declan Rice is expected to make a resounding success.
Looking at the numbers, The Three Lions currently take the 5th position on FIFA ranking. The World Cup 2022 qualifications resulted in 8 wins, 2 draws, and 0 losses.
The current World Cup group odds are in favor of England.
Wales: Dark Horses
After decades of dry seasons, Wales finally got a ticket for the World Cup tournament. The last time they participated in this championship in 1958, the team advanced to the quarterfinals. They have also leveled up in European soccer history in the past few years.
The team’s significant highlight occurred in 2016 in the Euro Cup, where The Dragons reached the semifinals. Gareth Bale and Daniel James are the team’s shining stars. Wales takes the 18th position on FIFA world ranking and 12th spot on regional UEFA.
The numbers might be humble, but the squad’s enthusiasm and strong desire may shake things up. In fact, according to bookies, they are just as likely to pass the group stage as the US.
USA: Rising Value
The Stripes and Stars team is finally coming onto the World Cup stage. The young and hopeful squad of Gregg Berhalter triumphed in the last CONCACAF Gold Cup. The USMNT ( US Men’s National Soccer Team) had only four lost matches in the last two years.
The World Cup group predictions favor the USMNT to surpass the group phase. The team’s hopes rested on Christian Pulisic. FC Chelsea’s midfielder/winger is expected to guide the squad.
The other teams should take the 21-goal score seriously during the qualification stage. USA takes the 15th position in the FIFA world ranking, while it is ranked 2nd in the regional CONCACAF. Stats go with 7 wins, 3 losses, and 4 draws in the World Cup qualification.
The World Cup group show that USMNT has real chances of progressing to the Round of 16.
Iran: Limited Chances
This is Iran’s seventh appearance on the World Cup stage. The current winner of the Asian soccer Confederation can be an underestimated threat in the group.
During the regional qualification stages, the Persian Stars came out with 8 wins, 1 loss, and 1 draw. Iran finished at the top of the group, followed by South Korea.
The Iran stars marched to victory in the game against Cambodia with 10 goals in a single match.
Mehdi Taremi of Porto is the team’s star player. Coach Carlos Queiroz is back to take care of unfinished business and is targeting a historic first round-of-16 qualification after five unsuccessful attempts. Watch out for Sardar Azmoun of Bayer Leverkusen as well; given the chance, he can make a huge difference.
So, England may be the favorites in the Group, but we will keep an eye on the Americans who beat England in 1950 and took a point off them in 2010.
The Welsh national team hopes to make a statement after returning to the biggest soccer spectacle for the first time in decades, while Iran could spill surprises on its oppositions in the group. In all, we are in for fireworks amongst the teams.