Last Updated on November 29, 2022 5:16 pm by Erwin Noguera
Group B of the World Cup can be the morbid group, since two countries of Great Britain will face each other, such as England and Wales, as well as a former British colony, such as the United States. Iran completes this quartet and is the team that has it the hardest.
England started this World Cup very well with a 6-2 win against Iran, but then drew with the United States and was again in debt. In their second game, Gareth Southgate’s team could not beat an orderly team that even came close to taking the lead with a shot from Christian Pulisic that hit the post. Now the English are first with 4 points and need a draw on the last match with Wales or not lose by more than 3 goals difference to advance to the round of 16. It doesn’t seem complicated, but they will still seek to secure first place.
England fulfilled their task: advance as first in the group. No less was expected of the English team, which in this third game defeated Wales 3-0 and with 9 goals is, for now, the highest-scoring team in the tournament. Marcus Rashford on two occasions and Phil Foden scored the goals on Tuesday and now England will face Senegal in the round of 16. Gareth Southgate’s team is playing well and starting to motivate their fans.
One of the disappointments of the World Cup has been Wales. The United Kingdom team, which returned to this tournament after 64 years, managed to get a draw in the first game with the United States thanks to a penalty converted by Gareth Bale at the end, but against Iran, they showed their worst face and fell 2-0. The Welsh were heavily outplayed by the Asian outfit who had goals disallowed and shots off the post but were making it out alive until goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was sent off after 86 minutes for a foul outside the box. Already in the last breaths of the game, the Iranians scored 2 goals and leave the road very difficult for their rivals, since they must thrash England to go to the round of 16.
Wales returned to a World Cup after 64 years but disappointed everyone. It was the last major tournament of this generation and they ended with a painful 3-0 defeat to their neighbors England. Gareth Bale and company only obtained 1 point in this competition and they played very badly, far from the image they had left in the previous months. They only managed to score 1 goal in the entire World Cup, which was of Bale from a penalty.
The United States is alive and depends on itself. The Stars and Stripes team drew with Wales in the first game (1-1) and then with England in the second (0-0), showing good things but a lack of definition. Against the British, it could be said that he was superior in both games, but with only 1 goal scored in 2 games, they must improve if they dream of qualifying for the round of 16. They will close the group stage in a very important match with Iran, where, taking political problems out of the equation, whoever wins advances to the round of 16 and the tie favors the Asians.
The United States suffered but reached the round of 16 of Qatar 2022. The North American team beat Iran 1-0 in the last game with a goal from Captain America, Christian Pulisic, and advanced as second in the group, precisely surpassing the Asian team. However, the USA must improve to face the Netherlands, especially on the offensive side. They are undefeated with 1 win and 2 draws, scoring 2 goals and conceding 1.
The big surprise of the group has been Iran. In the first game, they were crushed 6-2 by England, but they showed great play and dedication to beat Wales 2-0 with goals from Roozbeh Cheshmi and Ramin Rezaeian at minute 90+8 and 90+11 respectively. Although the victory was achieved towards the end and when the rival had 10 players due to the expulsion of goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, the truth is that they were superior throughout the game and deserved to win. A doubt for Carlos Queiroz will be the presence of one of his stars, Sardar Azmoun, who was injured this Friday. They will play against the United States to advance to the next round of a World Cup for the first time and the tie favors them as long as Wales does not beat England.
Iran was close to getting into the round of 16 but drowned on the shore. In the last game, they could not beat the United States and lost 1-0, leaving with 3 points in third place. The Asians left a very good image despite the painful defeat against England in the first game (6-2) since they then played a very good game against Wales and beat them 2-0.
As expected, England and the United States were the two qualified teams and Iran was a thorn in the shoe and came third. Welsh will have to rearm his team for the next tournaments.
World Cup Group B: England
England is the favorite of the group although it is not that it comes very well and it is not one of the great favorites to win the World Cup. Despite having a great squad, they have not shown good results lately, as could be seen in the UEFA Nations League, where they were last in their group that they shared with Italy, Hungary and Germany, and only had 3 draws and 3 defeats, being relegated to League B.
In the qualifiers, they swept away, finishing first in their group with 26 points after 8 wins and 2 draws against Hungary and Poland, both 1-1. However, the sensations when facing top-level rivals have not been good, and that is where Gareth Southgate’s team is not surprising.
Among the casualties due to injury that the ‘Three Lions’ have for this World Cup are those of Ben Chilwell and Reece James, both of Chelsea and due to injury. On the other hand, the coach was expected to call up players like Fikayo Tomori (Milan) and Jadon Sancho (Manchester United). Others who failed to make the cut included James Ward-Prowse (Southampton), Jarrod Bowen (West Ham) and Ivan Toney (Brentford), while the call-up of Harry Maguire, much criticized at Manchester United, was surprising.
The English team will have a lot of youngsters who are in charge of taking this team to the final. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool – 24), Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund – 19), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal – 21), Phil Foden (Manchester City – 22) and Mason Mount (Chelsea – 23) will have a lot of responsibility in this team, which also has experienced players like Harry Kane (Tottenham – 29) and Jordan Henderson (Liverpool – 32).
Now the time has come for a National Team and a coach who are not very convincing in England. In Russia 2018 they were fourth and Kane was top scorer (6), so this time they hope to at least reach the final.
Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale, Nick Pope.
Defenders: Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kyle Walker, Ben White, Harry Maguire, John Stones, Eric Dier, Conor Coady, Luke Shaw.
Midfielders: Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham, Kalvin Phillips, Jordan Henderson, Conor Gallagher, Mason Mount.
Forwards: Harry Kane, Callum Wilson, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, James Maddison.
World Cup Group B: Wales
The other European country in the group is Wales. The ‘Dragons’ return to a World Cup after 64 years and they do so after being in the last two European Championships, even in 2016 they reached the semifinals. Without a doubt, it is a notable improvement of the British team that has gone hand in hand with its top star, Gareth Bale.
The Los Angeles FC player, recent MLS champion, and with a goal in the final in the last seconds of extra time, may already be at the epilogue of his career after a few seasons at Real Madrid where he was mostly sitting on the bench, but when he puts on the shirt of his National Team he becomes a different person and leads his teammates as when he was in his best years.
Precisely Bale gave them the classification after beating Ukraine 1-0 in the playoff with a goal from him, demonstrating his importance and the level he has when it comes to Wales. Of course, the coach already prohibited him from playing golf during the World Cup.
As well as the ‘Cardiff Express’, we find great players like Aaron Ramsey (Nice), Danny Ward (Leicester), Ben Davies (Tottenham), Neco Williams (Nottingham Forest), Joe Allen (Swansea) and Keffer Moore (Bournemouth). The only criticism coach Robert Page has received is the non-call of youngster Oli Cooper (Swansea).
Of course, despite the excitement of qualifying for the World Cup, Wales has to improve, because in the recent UEFA Nations League they tied 1 game (against Belgium; 1-1), and lost the other 5, leaving a very poor image.
Goalkeepers: Wayne Hennessey, Danny Ward, Adam Davies
Defenders: Ben Davies, Ben Cabango, Tom Lockyer, Joe Rodon, Chris Mepham, Ethan Ampadu, Chris Gunter, Neco Williams, Connor Roberts
Midfielders: Sorba Thomas, Joe Allen, Matthew Smith, Dylan Levitt, Harry Wilson, Joe Morrell, Jonny Williams, Aaron Ramsey, Rubin Colwill
Forwards: Gareth Bale, Kieffer Moore, Mark Harris, Brennan Johnson, Daniel James
World Cup Group B: United States
Suddenly it may be the best team in the United States. The golden generation of the country comes hungry after not going to Russia 2018, which was a major surprise for the North American giant. After that, they were runner-up in the 2019 Gold Cup and champion in 2021, as well as achieving first place in the Concacaf Nations League.
Just as Landon Donovan was at the time, this time Cristian Pulisic is Captain America. The Chelsea player has to lead this team despite his 24 years and the fact that he will have many young people who are playing in Europe and in the MLS by his side. Matt Turner (Arsenal – 28), Sergiño Dest (Milan – 22), Weston McKennie (Juventus – 24), Yunus Musah (Valencia – 19) Giovanny Reyna (Borussia Dortmund – 19) and Tim Weah (Lille – 22) are some of the players who are rubbing shoulders with the best in Europe despite their young age, except for the Arsenal goalkeeper.
One of the great absences is that of the Groningen striker, Ricardo Pepi. The 19-year-old, who decided on the United States and was able to choose Mexico in what was a long fight, is in a very good moment in the Netherlands, but coach Gregg Berhalter decided on Haji Wright of Antalyaspor.
Another of the great and controversial absences is that of Zack Steffen, who was a regular when he was a substitute at Manchester City but now that he is a starter at Middlesbrough, he ins’t in the list. Jordan Pefok (Union Berlin) and Malik Tillman (Rangers) were also left out and it was a surprise.
Despite the absences mentioned, the United States has a very good team, full of young players who are facing the best in the world in Europe every weekend and that will help them a lot to not have so much pressure, and we believe that they will show all their talent.
Goalkeepers: Matt Turner, Sean Johnson, Ethan Horvath
Defenders: Cameron Carter-Vickers, Sergino Dest, Aaron Long, Shaq Moore, Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson, Joe Scally, DeAndre Yedlin, Walker Zimmerman
Midfielders: Brenden Aaronson, Kellyn Acosta, Tyler Adams, Luca de la Torre, Weston McKennie, Yunus Musah, Cristian Roldan
Forwards: Jesus Ferreira, Jordan Morris, Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna, Joshua Sargent, Timothy Weah, Haji Wright
World Cup Group B: Iran
Iran does not want to be the Cinderella of the group and wants to get through the World Cup group stage for the first time. That is why, despite the fact that the World Cup is just a few days away, this November 10 they played a friendly against Nicaragua and won 1-0.
The great figure of this national team is Mehdi Taremi. The Porto striker is having a great season and now wants to score goals in Qatar. With him will be Sardar Azmoun (Bayer Leverkusen) and Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Feyenoord) to form a fearsome attack trident, which will be the best weapon of the Iranians.
One of the curiosities of this team is that although they had a great qualification, achieving 25 out of 30 points, coach Dragan Skocic, who won 15 of the 18 games he coached, was fired because the players did not like him. Carlos Queiroz returned, who has been the coach between 2011 and 2019, and in these qualifiers was directing two national teams that were eliminated: Colombia and Egypt. It will be the third World Cup for the Portuguese with Iran.
Squad announcement date: TBC
It will be an even group, where although Iran starts as the weakest, it can be a stone in the shoe with that attacking trio they have. We believe that the qualified teams will be England and the United States, who have a great squad with many youngsters.
Mon, Nov. 21 England vs. Iran 8 a.m.
Mon, Nov. 21 USA vs. Wales 2 p.m.
Fri, Nov. 25 Wales vs. Iran 5 a.m.
Fri, Nov. 25 England vs. USA 2 p.m.
Tues, Nov. 29 Wales vs. England 2 p.m.
Tues, Nov. 29 Iran vs. USA 2 p.m.