The biggest international soccer event – the 2022 FIFA World Cup – kicked-off in Qatar. Teams have already named their 26-man squad and coaches are preparing for their formation. Group B is composed of some of the big teams in the tournament that will clash for the chance to reach the next round. Before the big event, here’s a preview of the teams, schedules and players to watch in Group B:
How they qualified: Group I winners (European Qualifiers)
World Cup appearances: 15
Best finish: Champions (1966)
FIFA Ranking: 5
Coach: Gareth Southgate
Fixtures: Iran (November 21), USA (November 26), Wales (November 30)
How they qualified: Third-place (CONCACAF Octagonal Standings)
World Cup appearances: 10
Best finish: Third-place (1930)
FIFA Ranking: 16
Coach: Gregg Berhalter
Fixtures: Wales (November 22), England (November 26), Iran (November 30)
How they qualified: Play-off winners
World Cup appearances: 5
Best finish: Last-16(1958)
FIFA Ranking: 19
Coach: Robert Page
Fixtures: USA (November 22), Iran (November 25), England (November 30)
How they qualified: Group A winners (Asian Qualifiers)
World Cup appearances: 5
Best finish: Last-16 (1978)
FIFA Ranking: 44
Coach: Carlos Queiroz
Fixtures: England (November 21), Wales (November 25), USA (November 30)
England enters the competition as one of the favorite teams to win following their fourth place finish in World Cup 2018 and having reached the final of the Euro 2020. The Three Lions have qualified for the tournament after thrashing San Marino 10-0 in their final qualifying group game. Southgate’s side is also determined to recover from Euro 2020 loss and Nations League relegation.
With England, Wales and the USMNT as their opponents, Iran seemed to stand no chance in this group despite the formidable form and line-up during the qualifiers. With former World Cup-winning assistant coach Queiroz in the helm, Iran can possibly duplicate the performance that defeated the USA in 1998. However, that could be their best highlight in the competition. Get the odds in this bet prediction site.
Players to watch:
Harry Kane – The England captain is a prolific striker and Southgate’s undisputed starter. During England’s final game in the qualifying, Kane scored four goals before half time, becoming the first England player to score four goals in a single game since Ian Wright in 1993. Kane is just two goals behind Wayne Rooney’s all-time England record score of 53. He will certainly set to break the record this edition.
Christian Pulisic – The Chelsea star and USMNT captain is the team’s best player and one of the best American players to date, leading to his nickname “Captain America”. He netted five goals across the 14 qualifying games to help the team book their place in the tournament. However, the 24-year-old Pulisic has less playing time with his Premier League side this season.
Gareth Bale – The 33 year-old Welsh Captain will play his first World Cup and is currently in fine form following his move to MLS side LAFC. He helped the MLS side to win their maiden league title earlier this month. Despite his age, he remains the face of a nation with his elite special finishing ability which could be the cornerstone of Wales performance.
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