World Cup Draw Group B
Group B of the FIFA World Cup 2022 competition comprises of England, Iran, United States of America and UEFA Path A play off winner (Wales, Scotland or Ukraine).
Initially, the UEFA play-off semi matches were scheduled on 24th March 2022 and the return legs were scheduled on 29th March 2022. However, the match between Scotland and Ukraine had to be postponed due to the Russian invasion to Ukraine and was rescheduled to 1st June 2022. Similarly, the play off final match has been rescheduled to 5th June 2022 with the winner of Scotland Vs Ukraine taking on Wales with the winner of the match booking the place in the World Cup 2022 competition.
The matches in Group B are set to take place from 21st November to 29th November 2022. The nations finishing in first and second move on to the knockout stages of the FIFA World Cup 2022.
Let’s take a look at the participating teams in detail:
England confirmed their place in the FIFA World Cup 2022 by topping Group I of the qualifiers. The winners of FIFA World Cup 1966 go into this editions’ group stages as favorites to win the group and progress to the knockout stages. England finished the 2018 FIFA World Cup as the 4th placed team losing to Belgium in the third place play-offs. After another disappointing loss to Italy in the UEFA Euro 2020 final, England is heading into this tournament with high hopes of leaving recent disappointments behind and getting the job done this time around.
Player to Watch
1) Harry Kane
With 69 international appearances and 49 goals in them, for England, Harry Kane is the spearhead for England. He is also the golden boot winner of the previous World Cup edition i.e. FIFA World Cup 2018 with 6 goals including a hat trick against Panama. Besides, he is also the joint top scorer of the UEFA World Cup qualifier with 10 goals which includes a hat trick against Albania and 4 goal hauls against San Marino.
2) Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling is another player to watch in this group. The Manchester City winger has been one of the lethal performers for the three lions having scored 3 goals in the Euro Cup 2020. Sterling has scored a total of 19 goals in 74 appearances and is one of the most experienced players in the squad going into the tournament having also played in previous two editions (2014 and 2018).
3) Harry Magurire
Although the primary position of Harry Maguire is central defender, he can still provide a real threat in the opposition half during corners and free kicks. With 7 goals already in his name, Maguire is the highest scoring defender in the England national team.
The current coach of England is Gareth Southgate. The 51 year old English coach had previously managed Middlesbrough from 2006-2009 and England u21 from 2013-2016. Having provided exceptional results in previous 2 major competitions (World Cup 2018 and Euro Cup 2020), he would hope to get the job done.
Iran national team qualified to the World Cup after topping group A in the 3rd round of AFC World Cup qualifier. This will be the 6th World Cup for the Iran national team having previously qualified for the competition 5 times already. However, they are yet to get past the group stage on any of the occasions. Therefore, we hope this time they will best that result and advance to the knockout stage for the 1st time in their World Cup history.
Player to Watch
1) Ehsan Hajsafi
Primarily a left back, Ehsan Hajsafi is regarded as a utility player that can operate in left midfielder, defensive midfielder and winger positions. He is also the most experienced player in the Iran side with 118 national team appearances already. This will be the 3rd World Cup competition for the AEK Athens player as he has already played for the team in the 2014 and 2018 editions.
2) Alireza Jahanbakhsh
Alireza Jahanbakhsh is another player to watch for the Iran national football team. Having played in the English Premier League (EPL) with Brighton & Hove Albion, the 28 year old attacking midfielder can provide a real threat in the opposition half with lightning pace.
3) Sardar Azmoun
With 40 goals in 62 appearances, Sardar Azmoun is one of the lethal strikers for the Iran team. The 27 year old Bayer Leverkusen player has proven at times how dangerous he is in front of goals and can be a real threat to the opposition box.
The Iran national football team is currently coached by Dragan Skočić. The Croatian born coach has plenty of experience managing the team as he had previously managed different clubs of Persian Gulf Pro League (formerly known as the Iran Pro League). He can utilize the experience to team past the group stage of the tournament.
The United States of America (USA) team qualified to the World Cup tournament after finishing 3rd in the 3rd round of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifier. This will be the 11th tournament appearance for the North American side after missing out the previous edition (FIFA World Cup 2018). The best result for the USA national team is 3rd place which they had achieved in the inaugural World Cup edition (1930 World Cup).
Player to Watch
1) Christian Pulisic
Christian Pulisic is one of the highly rated young players to watch in the FIFA World Cup 2022. At a young age of 23 years, Pulisic has already 21 goals for the country and would want to add more goals to that tally in the biggest global football competition.
The current coach of the USA football team is Gregg Berhalter. Having already secured 2019-20 CONCACAF Nations League and 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup with the team, the coach would want the best possible result for the team.
Full Fixtures for World Cup Group B
|21st November||England vs Iran||Khalifa International Stadium|
|21st November||United States Vs TBA||Ahmad bin Ali Stadium|
|25th November||TBA Vs Iran||Ahmad bin Ali Stadium|
|25th November||England Vs United States||Al Bayt Stadium|
|29th November||TBA Vs England||Ahmad bin Ali Stadium|
|29th November||Iran Vs United States||Al Thumama Stadium|
Our Verdict (Favorites, Dark House and Underdogs)
According to our verdict, we believe England are the favorites to qualify to the knockout stage from this group. Similarly, the United States national are the two dark horses in the group. Iran is underdogs in the competition and has an uphill task to secure a place in the tournament.