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Group B Predictions > Nov 21st - 29th


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It's the big one for those of us from England and Wales. Group B could see one of the most hostile set of matches. The rivalry between England and Wales is notorious but the intensity between USA and Iran is just as volatile. Will England's poor form pre-tournament impact on your decision to back them? Can Wales repeat their 2016 exploits by topping the group? Are Iran a fair price as the group underdogs? What will the USA bring to the table?

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  • 2 weeks later...

England

The team that the vast majority of members on this forum will be supporting come into this tournament as one of the favourites and will certainly be expected to qualify as group winners here. Gareth Southgate's men reached the 2018 World Cup Semi-Finals and the 2020 European Championship Final. Is this the tournament where they go one step further and win their first major international tournament trophy since 1966? The Three Lions appear to have hit a bad run of form at the worst time possible having failed to win any of their last 5 games, losing 3 of them, and failing to score in their last 3 encounters. Performances have been criticised by some fans for a while now but there's no denying that Southgate has got the team getting results at recent major tournaments. You don't win anything during qualification or the UEFA Nations League group stages! This English squad is packed with attack and midfield talent such as Harry Kane, Phil Foden, Jude Bellingham, and Declan Rice but question marks remain over a defence that could include Harry Maguire, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Jordan Pickford. As harsh as it is, there's undoubtedly also the feeling that if Southgate doesn't win this World Cup then it could be his last major tournament in charge of the team.

Odds to Win World Cup: 8/1

Odds to Qualify from Group B: 1/14

My Prediction: Semi-Finals

 

Iran

Every World Cup delivers one team that is going through complete anarchy and mayhem in the run-up. Usually it's an African side embroiled in a pay dispute with their football association but this time it appears to be Iran. Head coach Carlos Queiroz has had to deal with the fallout of certain players speaking out against the Iranian government's treatment of women in the country. It almost led to the government refusing to allow Queiroz to select a number of key players for their squad. It seems that issues have been resolved for the time being and star striker Sardar Azmoun has been included in the squad. This may be an Iranian squad that isn't packed with household names but on top of boasting the likes of Azmoun, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, and Saman Ghoddos they are one of the most organised and resilient teams in world football. The Persian Stars topped their qualification group ahead of South Korea which shows how dangerous they can be. However, the team have endured a patchy 2022 having already lost games against Tunisia, Algeria, and South Korea.

Odds to Win World Cup: 500/1

Odds to Qualify from Group B: 7/2

My Prediction: Last 16

 

USA

Another World Cup has arrived and somehow the USA have managed to make a meal out of qualifying from what should be one of the easiest qualification sections in world football. Head coach Gregg Berhalter has seen his team plagued by inconsistency throughout his reign and the team ended up finishing 3rd in their CONCACAF qualification group behind Canada and Mexico whilst only finishing ahead of Costa Rica due to superior goal difference. They only finished 4 points ahead of Panama as well so it was never convincing. The Stars and Stripes are already feeling the pressure of their own supporters who are claiming they should make light work of Iran and Wales whilst also pushing England to top the group. You can't deny their squad has quality in the likes of Sergino Dest, Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, Brenden Aaronson, and Christian Pulisic but they don't feel like they play like a team as much as other sides in this group and that could be their downfall. It's no win from their last three fixtures against Saudi Arabia, Japan, and El Salvador and despite leading the nation to the 2019/20 CONCACAF Nations League and 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup there just feel that there is a level of complacency bordering arrogance about this US team.

Odds to Win World Cup: 150/1

Odds to Qualify from Group B: Evens

My Prediction: Group Stage

 

Wales

Ah, the land of my fathers. It's a first appearance at a World Cup for Wales since 1958 and the country is buzzing. Robert Page has done a fantastic job to get the Dragons to the World Cup despite taking over the role as head coach in controversial circumstances after Ryan Giggs was suspended from his duties due to an ongoing court case. Many doubted the Welshmen could do it and in their play-off final game against Ukraine it felt like the whole world wanted Oleksandr Zinchenko et al to progress due to the situation in their country. Still, a Gareth Bale-inspired performance saw Wales win 1-0 and reach Qatar. The UEFA Nations League might have seen Wales relegated from League A but their performances showed they can compete with the very best as they delivered encouraging displays against Belgium, Netherlands, and Poland. As with the past two tournaments that Wales have qualified for there is a sense of no pressure and quiet optimism. Both times we've been written off but both times we've progressed. I'm naturally a pessimist when it comes to Wales and it's a shame that the likes of Bale, Aaron Ramsey, and Joe Allen aren't near where they used to be in terms of quality and fitness but our squad as a whole is stronger than even one year ago. Younger players such as Neco Williams, Ethan Ampadu, and Brennan Johnson are exciting prospects who could make a name for themselves here. I'm going to maintain expectations and say we'll battle hard but narrowly miss out on the last 16. I wouldn't be surprised if we did shock the world and finish in the top two though. Our population of 3 million against populations of 330 million (USA), 85 million (Iran), and 56 million (England)... what a story it would be!

Odds to Win World Cup: 200/1

Odds to Qualify from Group B: 11/10

My Prediction: Group Stage

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USA vs Wales

The Yanks were anything but impressive in the qualifiers for the showpiece tournament, with the team finishing the process in the third position, and they surely face a difficult task in their opener. They won seven of 14 games in the qualifiers, and only thanks to a better goal difference they avoided the playoffs path. The USA has been searching for a win on the previous three occasions, and they booked a goalless draw against Saudi Arabia in their final check before the World Cup 2022. A man to watch in the home team will be Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic, while Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie made the cut after overcoming his injury. They will have a tough job in Group B, and this is just the first challenge of three.                                                              

Wales plays in the World Cup for the first time since 1958, and if we have learned anything from The Dragons' last two outings at the Euros, it's to underestimate them at your peril. Cymru lost only once in the WC qualifiers and finished second in the group, behind Belgium. It secured them a playoff spot, where they were better than Austria and Ukraine. Robert Page went with largely the squad selection most expected of him, although there was no room for QPR's Tyler Roberts or Sheffield Wednesday's Will Vaulks. Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey provide the goal threat from midfield, while Kieffer Moore or Brennan Johnson will likely lead the line as the lone striker. However, Wales should improve its game to go through the group stage since they lost three times in a row.

Full-Time Winner Odds & Prediction                                                                            

Neither team has been convincing in the latest period, and this match can easily go either way. Therefore, we wouldn't be surprised if these two teams split points in their first match in the World Cup 2022.

Goals Market Prediction

It will be a tight game, and we shouldn't expect too many goals. Their both h2h matches stayed under a 2.5 margin, and this one shouldn't be much different.

Draw @ 3.05

Under 2.5 FT @ 1.55

Correct score 0:0 @ 6.50

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OK, here we go! It's Group B action on Monday as England play Iran and USA take on Wales. I think it goes without saying that the general feeling is that England should get an expected victory over their opponents. I think it'll be tight with Iran sitting back as they reportedly look set to start with a back five. I think a clean sheet win for England at either 1-0 or 2-0 seems likely. The USA versus Wales game is tougher to call because I have my bias hat on. I say it's biased but that's more with a pessimist slant to it. I'm going to favour the 1-1 draw. This does feel very similar to our opening game of the 2020 European Championship against Switzerland so I can see it being nervous and edgy. I certainly think the US fans are under-estimating us but I don't think their players or management are, which will make it very tough. Both teams do possess the quality to win the game though so it's going to be very intense.

England vs Iran (Monday, 1pm GMT)

England to Win to Nil @ 37/40 with BetVictor

Anytime Scorer: Harry Kane @ 6/5 with Unibet

USA vs Wales (Monday, 7pm GMT)

Draw @ 19/9 with VBet

BTTS @ 11/10 with Betfair

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4 minutes ago, harry_rag said:

On Sterling to score at 4.5. Looks big and a system bet for me anyway.

I've spoken to so many fans of other national teams who say they think Raheem Sterling is England's most dangerous big tournament player. Personally, I'm not so sure but it'll be interesting to see him liberated in this England team because he's not been played to his strengths for Chelsea this season. Can't sniff at those odds.

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Pulisic to score at 5.2 is another system bet, hope it does as well as the last one! Tempted by 7/1 for him to assist but will probably swerve given my track record as a backer in that market.

18/1 Lads for Bale to score from outside the area. Much bigger than next best (not seen more than 22/1 for a free kick goal). Feels like a fair price at worst and decent for an interest.

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1 minute ago, yossa6133 said:

Wales can't possibly be as bad as that again! Think they can turn this around with the right subs, taking a bit of the 12/1 (Bet365) Wales at half time.

You've got more faith than I have, @yossa6133:cryIn all seriousness, we've not even gotten started yet. Worst I've seen us play for years. Rob Page messed up the tactics in that first half. Correct a few things. Bring Kieffer Moore on, give us a focal point, settle down, and be better with the ball. Also, not sit so bloody deep! Even at 1-0 down we had 8 players in our own third when we had possession! Madness. 64 years we've waited. We can't waste such an opportunity to show what we can do. It would be unforgivable.

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England vs USA

England is expected to win Group B with ease and certainly has the potential to go far in the World Cup, seeing as they made it through to the final of EURO 2020. People expected England to beat Iran, but nobody thought that Southgate's men were capable of scoring six goals on their way to their biggest World Cup win. Disappointingly, when England was tested at the back, which wasn't often, Iran did score twice, and that will be a concern for England when they come up against a higher-quality side. It was the fourth straight time that the Three Lions were not disciplined in the backline, conceding five goals in the previous two matches. Nevertheless, they head to this one in a good mood, confident that they can celebrate another victory.

People often forget that the USA made it through to a third place in the first-ever World Cup in 1930 and appeared in two of the next three tournaments as well. From 1990-2014, the United States qualified for every World Cup but failed to make it to Russia in 2018. After making it to the quarter-finals in 2002, the USA will be hoping that their players can adapt to the heat of Qatar more than the European nations and that that might allow them to go far in this competition. Nevertheless, they will need to do much better than against Wales, where they didn't manage to keep their narrow lead intact. It will be a highly-important match for the Yanks, as a defeat could make their chances of progressing to the knockout round much slimmer.

Full-Time Winner Odds & Prediction                                                                            

England controlled the game against Iran and managed to beat the Asian team easier than expected. Although the USA is a much tougher opponent, we believe the Three Lions will continue with good displays. 

Goals Market Prediction

England's defense has been pretty leaky recently, while the USA team has a talented offense. Given that the Yanks need to go for a win here, we don't think either team will manage to keep a clean sheet.

England to Win @ 1.60

BTTS Yes @ 1.95

Correct score 3:1 @ 13.00

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I'm not nervous at all. Not one bit. No feeling of us ballsing it up after decades of failure. Christ, this nation has scarred me down the years! Hearing a lot of pundits saying they think we'll win 2-0 or 3-0. Iran are still a decent team who were made to look very ordinary by a very impressive England display. They'll be far better this time around but I also expect us to play more like we did in the second half against the USA than that awful first half. It's going to be close. My head says a draw but my heart says a Wales win. I'll reluctantly say draw because I still think Iran are a very solid outfit who will be tough to break down. A disappointing 0-0 or 1-1 draw wouldn't surprise me. I, of course, hope I'm wrong. I also expect England to have a tricky game against the USA. The Stars and Stripes always up their game against the Three Lions because of 1776 and all that. I still think England should win but they'll need to dig deep.

Wales vs Iran (Friday, 10am GMT)

Draw @ 9/4 with Sporting Index

Anytime Scorer: Kieffer Moore @ 11/4 with Bet365

England vs USA (Friday, 7pm GMT)

England to Win & BTTS @ 27/10 with William Hill

Total Goals Scored Over 2.5 @ 10/11 with Bet365

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13 hours ago, george44 said:

Over 2.5 goals, I think it too. How about over 3.5 ???

Never thought I'd see a game so boring and negative between two teams that both possess attacking qualities as their strengths. Not a fan of supporters booing their own team but I can absolutely understand the frustrations with Gareth Southgate's management at times. USA are better than people give them credit but England should still have been looking to win that comfortably.

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Southgate's immediate post-match interview was all about stating how he had drilled into the players how effective and dangerous USA would be and how his team must stick to a very careful plan.

Having instilled so much negativity into the England side and obviously told Harry Mcguire and John Stones to keep passing the ball to each other for the opening 15 minutes, it's no wonder we were so poor. 

Unless there is more adventure and belief I cannot see us having any chance against the likes of Brazil or Spain.

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Wales vs England

Wales takes on England on Tuesday night, looking to beat England for the first time in almost 40 years in an attempt to qualify from Group B. The Dragons made themselves much harder after losing to Iran 2-0 in their previous game. Although they had a point in their pockets, they conceded twice in the stoppage time. That's why they need to go for a win against the toughest opponent in the group. On the other hand, that might have a positive impact on Gareth bale and the lads since they have nothing to lose. However, if they want to increase their chances of success, they need to do much better than in the first two matches in the World Cup 2022. Wales is in abysmal form, searching for a win for the last seven games, where they managed to remain undefeated just twice.

The Three Lions didn't find any big trouble in the race of getting into the World Cup as they were at the top of the table in Qualifiers, winning eight of the ten attempts. They also enjoyed a confident start against Iran in a 6-2 victory, but the game against the USA showed England's struggles. The two sides split points, but the CONCACAF team left a much better impression, having more chances to win. Although England tops the group, they still haven't booked their place in the knockout stage. A point from this game could see them finishing in the top two, but a failure could mean the end of the campaign. That's why England should be fully focused ahead of this game.

Full-Time Winner Odds & Prediction                                                                            

Neither side can be proud of its consistency lately, and it will be a close match. Although England is a favorite, Wales shouldn't lose this game by more than a goal.

Goals Market Prediction

Wales struggles in the front, and they will be mostly focused on counter-attacks in this encounter. It should be a tight match, and the crowd shouldn't see more than two goals in total.

Wales AH +1.25 @ 1.90

Under 2.5 FT @ 2.00

Correct score 0:1 @ 6.40

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The final round of matches in Group B are up on Tuesday night with both games kicking off at 7pm GMT. I'm not going to lie, as a Welshman, I am fearing the worst. We need Iran and USA to draw. OK, I can see that happening for sure. However, we also then need to beat England to go through and I simply cannot see that happening. Robert Page has made several tactical and team selection blunders so far and I wouldn't be surprised if he gets this one wrong. I do feel we never get heavily turned over by teams with this group of players though and I hope that'll be the same again here. I might have to go into hiding for a bit after tonight given the large quota of English people we have on our staff team and that populate this forum! I will take a 2-0 loss! :lol

Wales vs England (Tuesday, 7pm GMT)

England HT/FT @ 4/3 with VBet

Total Goals Scored Under 2.5 @ 17/20 with BetUK

Iran vs USA (Tuesday, 7pm GMT)

Draw @ 5/2 with SpreadEx

BTTS @ 11/10 with Bet365

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I wouldn't want to call the Iran vs USA game. Wales have done a marvellous job of making both look like competent teams.

However in the absence of a clear favourite, I'd agree with going for the draw here.

 

Meanwhile all bets are off for England. We SHOULD beat Wales comfortably, but should've beating the USA comfortably - Sterling to score anytime 2.75 at Bet365 is good value though. 

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