How USMNT's World Cup Opponents Fared in Final International Break
The United States Men's National Team failed to win either of its two games in the final international break before the World Cup, tying 0-0 with Saudi Arabia and losing 2-0 to Japan.
Its World Cup opposition didn’t do too well, either; following is a look at how Wales, Iran and England played in the final games before World Cup fever reaches a frenzy in November.
Wales Lost Both Matches
The game against Wales is likely to be its biggest of the three. It’s the opener, and the winner likely will secure second in the group, with England expected to finish first and Iran last.
Wales didn't just lose both its games in the recent international break; it is winless in five games since securing a World Cup spot in a playoff final against Ukraine.
Los Angeles FC's Gareth Bale played in the game against Belgium, but Wales lost 2-1, with Kieffer Moore of Bournemouth scoring its goal. Bale started in the loss to Poland but failed to have a shot on target.
The USMNT should be confident in facing Wales.
The USMNT will play Wales on Nov. 21. It is +145 to beat the Dragons.
Iran Actually In Good Form
Iran, according to the odds, will be the Americans' easiest matchup to start at the World Cup. It is, however, the most in-form team the USMNT will face after its sensational victory against Uruguay.
Mehdi Taremi is Iran's superstar after an excellent goal-scoring run with Porto in recent years. He scored a late winner against Uruguay, one game before Sardar Azmoun scored for Iran in a 1-1 tie with Senegal in its second game of the break. Uruguay also faced the USMNT in June and tied 0-0.
The USMNT plays Iran on Nov. 29 and is +110 to win the final game of the group stage.
England is Struggling Right Now
England reached the European Championship final last summer and lost by the narrowest of margins, but since, it has been in terrible form and failed to win a single Nations League game. The Three Lions head into the World Cup with just four goals in six Nations League games, as well as a defeat to Italy and a 3-3 tie with Germany in recent games.
England went down two goals against Germany but eventually led 3-2. A late goal from the Germans forced a 3-3 tie. It was a worrying rough patch for England heading into the World Cup.
The USMNT will play England on Nov. 25 in its second World Cup game. It is +370 to beat England, with the Three Lions the favorite in the game at -145.
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