Analysis of World Cup Teams: Group B
On the matter of the highly-anticipated football tournament in November, we take a close look at World Cup group B.
Group B promises to have sparks and fireworks, as it is seen as one of the very difficult groups at the World Cup. The group consists of 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. The nation booked their ticket via playoffs after inflicting a narrow defeat on war-plagued Ukraine. The likes of Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Daniel James will be hyped to make history and go against their British eternal foes: England.
Iran have been a World Cup regular recently. The middle-eastern country has qualified for their third straight World Cup and are looking to have a change of strategy this time around. The Asian nation will most likely adopt a more positive approach in their game as opposed to the pragmatic style employed by Carlos Queiroz at the 2014 and 2018 World Cups.
The United States are perhaps seen as the second favorites after England to advance to the next round. The economically gigantic nation was notably absent at the last World Cup in Russia and will look to make a mark in the coming competition.
The Three Lions of England are no strangers to the World Cup. Though also synonymous to disappointments and failures, the British nation is seemingly regaining their reputation in football. England were runners-up at the Euros and went as far as the semi-finals at the last World Cup in Russia.
Here is a proper breakdown of what to expect from the teams in group B.
Who are the favorites in Group B?
England are no doubt seen as huge favorites to claim the group based on their squad strength, past achievements and the odds from the bookies. The Three Lions recently endured a humbling experience at the UEFA Nations league by losing 4-0 to Hungary. However, they have had positive performances at their last two tournaments, finishing 2nd and 4th respectively.
This United States team looks quite different from last roster they put out in 2014. This time around, they have called upon younger players who are very hungry for success and eager to prove their global credentials.
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.
The Welsh national team will be buoyed by the fact that they have their talisman Gareth Bale is still rescuing them. The former Real Madrid winger has completed his move to the MLS, and perhaps will pick a thing or two to use against the United States when they clash.
Iran are regarded as least favourites here but they must not be taken for granted. The Asian representative had a near perfect qualifying series, winning eight games, drawing and losing one each. However, they are huge underdogs to win this group for obvious reasons. 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 stars is second to none and it will take a monumental effort from the other three to usurp them. The United States closely follow England as the next team expected to advance. They have a relatively young and hungry squad and their impressive form and displays are commendable.
Wales are almost on par with the United States, based on general perception. Gareth Bale and co have managed to restore the Welsh dragon pride and make the team stronger. They have also resolved the issue of their head coach, as Ryan Giggs has decided to step-down from his position.
Who are the best players?
This group is blessed with so many great players who ply their trades in 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. However, he is a bigger ‘beast’ for his country. He has scored 50 goals in 71 games for England.
● 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.
● Christian Pulisic: The Chelsea winger, popularly known as “captain America”, will hope to take his team far in the Mundial.
● Sardar Azmoun: The Iranian hitman is the biggest attacking threat of his team with 40 goals in 63 games.
Talents to watch out for
The Manchester City midfielder is seen as a generational talent. Though he has already appeared for England in big competitions, he is very young and he has all the tools to excel in his team.
The Arsenal superstar has taken the footballing world by storm with his impressive performances for his club and country. He is one to watch out for at the Mundial.
The Leeds United midfielder almost got a goal for himself against Wolves last weekend and his recent development shows that he has much to offer.
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.