Group B Overview
Group B features a Wales team in its first World Cup since 1958, and an Iran side appearing in a third straight World Cup for the first time, alongside group favourites England and an improving USA team.
The USA failed to qualify four years ago, but reached the last 16 in 2010 and 2014, while Iran have never made it out of the first round.
The Favourites: England
Runners-up in the Euros last summer and semi-finalists in Russia four years ago, England have been handed a kind draw for this winter’s World Cup.
Gareth Southgate’s side are not in their best form, having disappointed in the Nations League, but they remain among the contenders in Qatar.
Harry Kane has been in fine form for Tottenham. There are questions about the defence, yet this is still a very talented England squad overall with several ascending young players, including Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka.
The 2018 tournament was the Three Lions’ best World Cup since 1990 – they haven’t reached the final since 1966.
England are priced at 4/9 to win the group with SpreadEx.
Led by Gareth Bale, Wales have enjoyed their most successful period over the last few years, reaching the last four of the 2016 Euros, qualifying for the knockouts of the 2020 competition and qualifying for this World Cup.
Qatar marks the end of an era with protagonists Bale, Aaron Ramsey, Chris Gunter and Joe Allen well into their thirties.
The Dragons have suffered four defeats in their last five matches during a very poor Nations League campaign. Form isn’t on their side, but it would be foolish to write them off in this section.
Wales are 6/1 to win Group B at BetVictor.
The USA have qualified from their group at two of their last three World Cups, and have reached three Gold Cup finals, winning two, since their last World Cup appearance.
Gregg Berhalther has reshaped the squad. Only two of the 23 outfield players selected for Qatar are over 30.
Their form in 2022 has been patchy, with defeats to Canada, Costa Rica and Mexico, but this is a group to be excited about even beyond the bigger names of Giovani Reyna, Christian Pulisic and Sergiño Dest.
The USA are 2/1 to finish second in Group B with Paddy Power.
The clear outsiders in Group B, Iran have won just two of their 15 World Cup matches since first competing in 1978. While their squad is the weakest in the group on paper, star man Mehdi Taremi is a goal threat and the majority have experience in Europe.
A win over Uruguay and draw with Senegal in September will help Team Melli carry confidence into their opening match against England, but they need luck on their side if they are to reach the round of 16.
Iran are 7/4 to qualify from Group B at BetVictor.
Schedule and Venues
- 21st November: England vs Iran, 1pm, Khalifa International Stadium
- 21st November: USA vs Wales, 7pm, Ahmed bin Ali Stadium
- 25th November: Wales vs Iran, 10am, Ahmed bin Ali Stadium
- 25th November: England vs USA, 7pm, Al Bayt Stadium
- 29th November: Wales vs England, 7pm, Ahmed bin Ali Stadium
- 29th November: USA vs Iran, 7pm, Al Thumama Stadium
All odds are subject to change