Predicting and Analyzing the World Cup Group Games for the U.S. Men
After an eight-year wait, the United States men’s national team is back at the World Cup. It will meet England for the second time in its past three World Cups, as well as Iran and Wales in Group B.
Following is a look at each of the Americans’ group games and a prediction for all three.
Wales Looks Shaky Coming in to World Cup
The U.S. kicks off its group campaign Nov. 21 against Wales. The odds have changed a lot in this game over the past few months, and the Americans now sit as the favorites to win at +145.
Wales has had a terrible Nations League run, losing five of its six games and managing a tie with Belgium in June, putting just one point on the board. It was relegated to League B, like England.
What’s more, Gareth Bale has barely played for Los Angeles FC since joining the team a few months ago, and stars like Aaron Ramsey are way past their prime. In fact, for the first time in many years, the U.S. can confidently say it has better players than Wales, and it should win.
It will be a tough match, however, and likely will be the most important game of the three for the Americans.
The U.S. to beat Wales 2-1 is +950 with FanDuel.
It Has Been Topsy-Turvy for England
England enters this World Cup after a topsy-turvy few years in which it reached the last World Cup semifinals and the recent Euro 2020 final, but also has had its worst run in 22 years.
In fact, despite having elite stars like Harry Kane to net goals, England failed to score in 450 minutes of open play during its Nations League group campaign and finished last.
On the other hand, Kane is scoring for fun in the Premier League, and players like Phil Foden, Jude Bellingham, Marcus Rashford and Aaron Ramsdale are all having successful individual seasons.
If England plays like it has in recent games, the Americans could win. At a World Cup, however, we think it probably wins when it matters most.
England to beat the U.S. 3-0 is +1400 with FanDuel.
Iran Looks Like Americans' Least Stressful Game
The Americans' final game of the group stages — as well as its least intimidating — is Nov. 29. If they can beat England or Wales, they will likely be playing to advance to the knockout rounds here.
Iran does have some notable players. Alireza Jahanbakhsh has 13 goals in 64 caps for Iran and plays for Dutch giants Feyenoord. Midfielder Saman Ghoddos plays with Brentford in the Premier League.
Although Iran's defense is weak, it has Porto superstar Mehdi Tarmei and Bayer Leverkusen striker Sardar Azmoun to rely on.
Taremi has nine goals in 14 games for Porto in 2022-23, after scoring 20 Primeira Liga goals in 32 games. He is averaging at least one goal every other game in Portugal, and he has scored more goals in Europe in the past year than any American has.
The U.S. is +1000 to beat Iran 2-0 with FanDuel.
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