Qatar 2022 World Cup: Analysis of Group B – Favourites and talents to watch out for

My Football FactsArticles | 2022 World Cup Predictions

By Martin Graham | 29th Oct 2022

Still on the matter of the highly-anticipated tournament in November, we advance by taking a closer look at World Cup Group B.

Group B looks like it could potentially be one of the most entertaining groups in the tournament with the main protagonists being the three Lions of England, the United States, Iran and Wales.

The Welsh national team will be making their first appearance at the World Cup in over 60 years. A playoff victory over the war-hit Ukraine this past summer saw them secure book their tickets to the showcase. The likes of Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Daniel James will be looking forward to making history for their countries.

Iran have qualified for their third World Cup finals in a row and are looking to follow this good period of consistency with progress. Iran will be led by a familiar face in Carlos Queiroz who helped them qualify for the 2014 and 2018 World cups. The former Egypt coach who was appointed in September will have only two months to get his team up to speed before the tournament starts.

The United States are perhaps seen as the second favorites after England to advance to the next round. The USMNT have assembled a talented and young squad that will be looking to make a huge splash.

The Three Lions of England are no strangers to the World Cup. They are a nation that suffered a lot of heartbreak and disappointment over the years but their rise to becoming a top National team has been gradual. Now they will he looking to do better than their fourth place finish in 2018.

Who are the favorites in Group B?

The favorites in the group will no doubt be England. Not only the odds from the bookies back them but their squad on paper and their recent tournament history indicated that they will be a force to be reckoned with in Qatar. Their form going to the tournament is not the greatest as their UEFA Nations League run saw them bottom of their group without any wins in six games but their semi final finish in the last edition of the World Cup in 2018 and their second place finish in the European Championships last year indicates to good progress being made by England.

This United States team looks quite different from last roster they put out in 2014. After missing the 2018 World Cup in France, they went back to the drawing board and rebuilt the identity of this team. Now they have called upon younger players who are very hungry for success and eager to prove themselves while the whole world watches.

Their best player remains Chelsea’s winger Christian Pulisic, who has been in fine form for his country but continues to struggle in club colours. In that team emerging talents like Gio Reyna of Borrusia Dortmund and Yunus Musah of Valencia will be depended on to show form and perform spectacularly.

The presence of Gareth Bale will always be a plus for Wales. The former Real Madrid winger who currently plays in the United States for Los Angeles FC will once again be highly influential if they are to qualify from the group.

Iran are regarded as least favorites here but they must not be taken for granted. The Asian representatives breezed past qualifying, winning eight games, drawing once and losing once. Although they are huge underdogs to win this group, they are the 20th best country on the planet according to FIFA and should be treated as such by the other teams in the group.
Sardar Azmoun is their talisman, the Bayer Leverkusen striker has scored 40 goals in just 63 appearances.

Who can advance to the next round?
The Three Lions are odds-on favorite not just to advance but to top the group. Their assembly of talent is second to none in the group and it will take a monumental effort from the other three countries in the group to steal the march on them.

Wales and the United States are on par in terms of who might qualify second, based on general perception. Gareth Bale and co have managed to restore the Welsh dragon pride and make the team thicker. They have also resolved the issue of their head coach, as Ryan Giggs has decided step-down from his position. The United States will be looking the put out performances worthy of a proud Nation as they continue to grow the stock of the sport in their country.

Who are the best players?

This group is filled with so many talented players who play in some of the biggest leagues and clubs in the world. Here are some of the best players in the group.

Harry Kane: The Spurs hitman is one of the best strikers in the world currently. And it is not just at club level alone. He has scored 50 goals in 71 games for England and is two goals away from breaking Wayne Rooney’s all time record to solidify himself as England’s greatest scorer.

Raheem Sterling: The former Manchester City man is one of the best in his position. He secured a move to Chelsea to further bolster his stake in the team. He will be looking to add to his 19 England goals in Qatar.

Gareth Bale: The man who has chooses his National team first over any other thing has helped them qualify for their first World Cup in over half a century. Now it’s time for the real work to begin for the Welsh Captain.

Christian Pulisic: The Chelsea winger, popularly known as “captain America”, will be the talisman of the team looking to continue his fine form for his country.

Sardar Azmoun: The Iranian hitman is the biggest attacking threat of his team with 40 goals in 63 games.

Talents to watch out for

Phil Foden

The Manchester City midfielder is seen as a generational talent. A player who, though young, has already played in some of the biggest stages world football has to offer. Barring any issues he will add World Cup appearances to the list and hope to reach his first World Cup final as well.

Bukayo Saka

The Arsenal has been on a tear for Premier League leaders Arsenal as well as his country. He has put his Euro 2020 woes behind him and has taken a step forward. He will be one to watch out for at the Mundial.

Yunus Musah

The 19-year-old midfielder who plays for Valencia will be looking to announce himself on the World stage against some of the best players and help his country reach new heights in Qatar.

Allahyar Sayyadmanesh

The 21-year-old Hull City forward is seen as the future of Iranian football. Though he has just a goal in seven caps for his country, he is a very talented player with loads of potential.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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