With each team in the top 20 of the FIFA World Rankings, Group B at the 2022 FIFA World Cup is without a doubt the strongest group on paper. With four teams that could easily advance to the knockout stage, those matches will surely be met with excitement. However, this also has an added element of suspense for fans of the United States Men’s National Team, as they were placed in this group alongside England, Iran, and Wales.
The USMNT, after not making the 2018 World Cup, will seek to show that it’s back in a big way, but each match in this group will be a major test for each team. Two strong teams will be heading home after the group stage from Group B, while two others could be battle tested enough to make a run.
November 21st - England vs. Iran, 8:00am ET/5:00am PT; USA vs. Wales, 2:00pm ET/11:00am PT
November 25th - Wales vs. Iran, 5:00am ET/2:00am PT; England vs. USA, 2:00pm ET/11:00am PT
November 29th - Wales vs. England, 2:00pm ET/11:00am PT; Iran vs. USA, 2:00pm ET/11:00am PT
With dreams renewed of football’s most well known trophy coming home, England enters this tournament with a strong lineup but still with major questions. The Three Lions haven’t played at their best recently, but with arguably the world’s most well-known roster of players, expectations are still high. Their trip to the final of Euro 2020 only increased those expectations. England will likely consider anything less than a trip to the semifinals a disaster, but they also didn’t get any favors being drawn into this tough group.
FIFA Ranking: 5
Odds of Winning Group: Favorite
One to Watch: Bukayo Saka’s young and he’s ready to break through as a world star. His success could be the reason England goes far.
Iran is a team that many around the world haven’t seen play much, but they could be the most in form team in Group B. They qualified for Qatar 2022 by winning their group in AFC World Cup qualifying, and their September window featured a win over Uruguay and a draw against Senegal, both participants in this World Cup. They have some players that appear for major clubs all throughout Europe, and because of that, they won’t back down from any opponent. They could be the major dark horse team of the tournament because they have the tools to make some noise.
FIFA Ranking: 20
Odds of Winning: Dark Horse
One to Watch: Alireza Jahanbakhsh comes into this tournament with many thinking he could be a standout player for Team Melli,
The USMNT are back on the world’s biggest stage with the youngest team in the tournament. Still, there’s some pressure on this group and head coach Gregg Berhalter to get out of the group and set up the build towards co-hosting the tournament in 2026. Their play has been a cause for concern lately, but fans hope that the team can find a way to put it all together in a tough group stage to pull off a couple of key victories.
FIFA Ranking: 16
Odds of Winning: In The Running
One to Watch: Yunus Musah is one of the youngest players in the entire tournament, and he could finish this tournament as one of the most valuable to his team.
Wales was one of the teams that had to play a couple extra matches to get into the World Cup, as they qualified through the European playoffs to get here. Their reward was to be placed in statistically the toughest group from top to bottom. However, while many know Champions League winner and MLS Cup winner Gareth Bale, Wales is not a team that tries to get the ball to his feet all the time. They have several players that can be dangerous, and they hope their continuity will help them in this tournament.
FIFA Ranking: 19
Odds of Winning: Dark Horse
One to Watch: Daniel James will be looked upon to help Gareth Bale with scoring and creating attack.
Who will advance from Group B? What matches are most interesting to you? Let us know in the comments.