- Group B has the highest combined FIFA Ranking of all the groups.
- It’s made up of England, Iran, USA, and Wales.
- England should win the group, while Wales and USA fight for second.
The 2022 World Cup is just around the corner, and Group B is one of the trickiest and most intriguing of the eight group draws.
England, Iran, USA, and Wales are in this difficult group, and while the World Cup betting odds show a clear favorite to win Group B, it’s the second spot that will be unpredictable.
Let’s take a look at the odds for Group B and the storylines that are developing in the build-up to the FIFA World Cup.
World Cup Group B Odds & Predictions
Odds to Win Group B
- England: -350
- Iran: +1800
- USA: +550
- Wales: +600
Odds to Advance From Group B
- England: -3000
- Iran: +400
- USA: +100
- Wales: +115
World Cup Schedule: Group B
|England vs. Iran||November 21|
|USA vs. Wales||November 21|
|Wales vs. Iran||November 25|
|England vs. USA||November 25|
|Iran vs. USA||November 29|
|Wales vs. England||November 29|
Is This the Toughest Group in the World Cup?
Group B has the highest collective FIFA Ranking of all the World Cup groups and this means every game is going to be a tough one. Here are some of the things to keep an eye out for in Group B.
Will England Finish Top of the Group?
The World Cup betting odds point towards the Three Lions finishing first in Group B and advancing to the next stage. Given their disastrous Nations League campaign in the summer, however, should Gareth Southgate’s team really be so confident?
England’s chances of winning the World Cup this year are higher than they’ve been for some time. But, the Three Lions tend to be serial underperformers, despite their wealth of talented individuals on the field.
This team is by far the best in Group B, but Southgate’s team is beset with injuries at the back, with players like Reece James and Kyle Walker both nursing long-term injuries.
I can’t help but feel that Southgate’s pragmatic approach, coupled with the over-reliance on Harry Kane for goals, will cost them this tournament. Ultimately, they should advance from Group B, but it’s going to be more difficult than the betting odds suggest.
Will Lack of Experience be USA’s Downfall?
The USA didn’t qualify for the 2018 World Cup and barely scraped through for this one. Many of USMNT’s best players are based in Europe and they weren’t flown back for qualification games against ‘lesser’ opponents. A move that very nearly backfired, and the team only qualified over Costa Rica due to goal difference.
The USMNT (U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team) has some exceptional players in Antonee Robinson (Fulham) and Leeds duo Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson. In addition, they have Giovanni Reyna (Dortmund), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Sergino Dest (Milan), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic), and Malik Tillman (Rangers).
However, it’s Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic who is likely to lead the team, despite the fact he’s hardly had a part to play at club level this season.
The concern for manager Gregg Berhalter is he is at the helm of the youngest team in the tournament. This is a team that lacks World Cup experience, and a win in their first game against Wales will be vital for the confidence they need to advance further than the group stage.
Can Wales Make an Impact 64 Years After They Last Played in a World Cup?
The last time Wales qualified for a World Cup was in 1958. However, they’ve been a consistent contender in the Euros, and they know how to navigate their way out of the group stage.
Their first game against the USA is key to advancing, and it’s USMNT that will be Wales’ biggest hurdle in Group B. The Dragons aren’t at the tournament to simply make up numbers and will rely on the talismanic Gareth Bale to lead the line in what is surely his last World Cup.
Joe Allen, Harry Wilson, Dan James, and Joe Morrell will form the core of Rob Page’s midfield; their mix of youth and veteran experience will be an essential aspect if Wales wants to succeed.
The betting odds aren’t favoring Wales to advance, but don’t rule out how determined the players will be after missing out on the last 15 World Cup competitions.
Iran Holds the Cards for Both Wales and USA
Iran is by far the lowest-ranked team in Group B. However, they could be the most important team in the group when it comes to deciding second place.
All three of the other teams are expecting to beat Iran, and they will have to do just that if they want to advance.
Iran is the best of the three Arabian teams present at the tournament, and they play hard compact soccer. Carlos Queiroz (who is a former assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson) is Iran’s manager, and he will ensure that his team is not embarrassed on the big stage.
Defensively, Iran might not have any big-name players, but up front, they have Leverkusen frontman Sardar Azmoun and Porto striker Mehdi Taremi, both of which had exceptional 2021-22 seasons.
If Iran gets a surprise result against Wales or USA, it’s likely to decide who advances and who doesn’t.
Group B Predictions
This is undeniably one of the toughest groups in the competition.
I see England making it through as the top seed, but not as comfortably as they would like. While the second team to advance is anyone’s guess.
Iran is bound to have a lot of supporters at the tournament, and I see this pushing them on for a shocking result against USA or Wales to decide the other team that advances to the next round.
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