The FIFA World Cup 2022 begins on the 20th of November and 32 teams will to battle their way to ultimate glory. Here at the Hard Tackle we bring you the lowdown from Group B of the mega event in Qatar. 

The Group B comprises of Wales, USA, England and Iran. 

While Gareth Bale will be looking to guide his country to the knockout rounds of the tournament, having helped them to World Cup qualification, England will look to continue their recent run of form in the major tournaments. 

The Three Lions have reached the finals of the Euros recently and the semi finals of the the 2018 World Cup prior to that. 

Meanwhile, United States have a talented and young squad at their disposal and will look to make their mark in Qatar. Iran will be the minnows in this group and will look to pull off a few upsets along the way. 

Group B: England, Wales, United States and Iran

Matches

21st November: England vs Iran, USA vs Wales
25th November: Wales vs Iran, England vs USA
29th November: Wales vs England, Iran vs USA

England

England will be the firm favourites to win Group B given their quality and depth. Gareth Southgate has a plethora of Premier League stars at this disposal and the Three Lions will be expected to win the group and then make their mark in the knockout stages of the tournament as well.

Southgate’s men have done well in the recent international events and the fans will be confident of their country doing well in the Qatar World Cup as well.

England reached the semi finals of the 2018 World Cup and then went on to play the finals of the Euros last year, where they were beaten by Italy in the penalty shootout.
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Key Players: Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling

Tottenham striker Harry Kane is undoubtedly England’s best weapon in the World Cup. The 29-year-old has been in impressive form at club level and he will look to do well in Qatar as well.

Kane has 11 goals in 14 Premier League games this season and he will be full of confidence heading into the major event. Meanwhile, he has been outstanding for England in terms of scoring as well. He has 51 goals in 75 England caps.

Raheem Sterling has done well for England in recent years as well. The Chelsea attacker is England’s main goalscoring threat after Kane.

Since 2019, Sterling has scored 15 goals in 32 appearances for the Three Lions.

United States

The United States have one of the youngest squads in the World Cup this year and they have a number of exciting talents on display.

Gregg Berhalter’s side lost just three of their 14 qualifiers and they are no pushovers. With a number of key players playing in eminent clubs across Europe, the Americans have the quality to pull off surprise results in Qatar. They will certainly fancy their chances of making it to the knockout rounds of the competition.

After failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, this is their opportunity to make a mark at the biggest stage in international football.

USA prefer to play in a free-flowing 4-3-3 system with rapid full backs and wingers at their disposal. If they can stay organised at the back, the young Americans could cause a lot of problems for their opponents during transitions.
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Key Players: Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams

Pulisic has had a difficult Premier League campaign with Chelsea so far but the talented winger can be a force to be reckoned with. He is a top class player on his day and Pulisic will be desperate to have a good World Cup to put his club miseries behind him.

A good tournament could help him secure a move away from Stamford Bridge. His pace and trickery could prove to be United States’ main source of creativity in Qatar.

He has played big games for Chelsea and Pulisic will know all about handling the pressure in the biggest stage.

On the other hand, Tyler Adams has done well for Leeds United.

The 23-year-old can operate as a full back as well as a midfielder. His versatility will be an asset for the United States.

Adams is an excellent passer and he will contribute defensively as well. The Leeds ace is a strong tackler and he is very good aerially as well.

Wales

The Welsh have had a dramatic road to the World Cup and they managed to scrape through the qualifiers to make it to the main event. The opponents in Group B will seem beatable to them and it remans to be seen whether they can spring some surprises along the way.

Rob Page as a well-drilled unit at his disposal who like to play direct and fast-paced football. The likes of Gareth Bale, Harry Wilson and Daniel James are all capable of getting on the scoresheet and they have the pace to do real damage during counterattacks.

Wales are well aware of their deficiencies and Page has done well to design a setup that plays to the strengths of his players, notably Gareth Bale.

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Key Player: Gareth Bale

The Welsh winger is undoubtedly one of the best big-game players of his generation. Bale has come up with numerous clutch moments throughout his career and he scored massive goals for Wales during the World Cup qualifiers as well.

Recently. he helped LAFC win the MLS Cup as well and he will be full of confidence heading into the tournament. The former Real Madrid ace knows this is his last World Cup and he will look to make his mark.

The Welshman has electric pace, close control and finishing ability. He is lethal in the air and has a wand of a left foot from free-kicks as well. Bale is one of the best players heading into the World Cup and he will be the centre-piece of Page’s unit.

Iran

As harsh as it may sound, Iran are the weakest team in Group B and the other three teams will look to treat them as the whipping boys. However, they are no pushovers and could look to cause an upset here.

Carlos Queiroz’ side were electrifying in the AFC qualifiers with eight wins and a draw from ten matches, However, they are well out of their depth against teams like USA, Wales and England.

That said, football can be a very unpredictable game and the minnows will be desperate to step up and salvage some pride in Qatar.

Iran have a strong defensive setup and they will look to sit deep and frustrate the opposition. They conceded just twice in the 2018 World Cup group stages against teams like Spain and Portugal.
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Key Players: Serdar Azmoun and Mehdi Taremi

Azmoun, the 27-year-old Bayer Leverkusen forward is the country’s top scorer and he could be a real handful on the break. He has not been at his best in the Bundesliga this season but he will be motivated to perform for his country in the World Cup.

That said, the player suffered a calf injury recently and his participation remains a doubt.

On the other hand, Mehdi Taremi has been excellent for Porto.

He has scored 23 and 26 goals for Porto in his last two seasons. He has been in red hot form this season as well with 13 goals in 18 appearances.

Iran will need a quality finisher who can finish off chances from counters and Taremi will provide them with that option.

Likely to qualify: England and Wales

England are undoubtedly the most accomplished team in Group B and they should be able to secure safe passage into the next round despite their dodgy performances in recent months. Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and co. have the experience of doing well in the major tournaments and they will have an edge over the other teams because of their experience and strength in depth.

Wales and United States are probably very evenly matched but the big-game pedigree of Gareth Bale could make all the difference for the Welsh.

Bale has produced multiple game-changing moments in his career for club and country. He is a player capable of winning games all on his own. The 33-year-old has rediscovered his motivation and enthusiasm since leaving Real Madrid and he will be looking to fire on all cylinders here.

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