World Cup 2022 Group B Match: 5 Things to Know About the USA vs. Wales Game
On Monday, November 21, the United States men’s national soccer team plays Wales to open their World Cup 2022 campaign.
At 10 p.m. local time in Qatar, the game will take place after the Group B debut between England and Iran earlier in the day. That corresponds to 2 p.m. Eastern Time (EST), 1 p.m. Central Time (CST), and 11 a.m. Pacific Time for viewers in the US (PST).
Here are five crucial details about the game and a forecast for how it will end.
1. Most likely, both clubs are vying for second place.
At the 2022 World Cup, Group B is the most competitive, based on FIFA’s world rankings. Of the eight groups, it is the only one in which all four teams are regarded as among the top 20 in the world. Prior to the USMNT, England is the group’s favourite to win, but Wales and Iran are competent teams that shouldn’t be discounted.
2. Wales will need to be dismantled by the USMNT.
These teams play in quite different ways. The USMNT prefers to maintain possession of the ball while steadily making an effort to open up space, particularly down the wings. However, the team’s lack of a free-scoring striker is one of its biggest weaknesses, making scoring goals a challenge.
3. The big game player is Gareth Bale.
The Wales captain has demonstrated that he is a player who can excel in the most important situations, despite being 33 and lacking match experience. Bale only had two starts for Los Angeles FC in the MLS, but he came off the bench to score a tying goal in the last seconds of extra time when his team won the MLS Cup earlier this month. He scored twice for Real Madrid in the Champions League final, including an incredible bicycle kick.
4. A draw is hardly a catastrophe.
Even if a country loses its first game, it can still win the World Cup (see Spain, 2010). It goes without saying that a loss in the USMNT or Wales’ opening game would be devastating, but a draw wouldn’t be disastrous either. The USMNT and Wales would both need to defeat Iran and possibly earn at least a draw with England in order to advance if England were to defeat Iran, which is expected to happen.
5. The midfield duel can be won with Tyler Adams.
Adams, a natural leader, will serve as the USMNT’s captain for the World Cup. He will be a key member of the middle midfield and tasked with advancing the squad while maintaining its shape without the ball. He’ll probably face the seasoned but past-his-prime Aaron Ramsey versus Wales. Another seasoned player who plays a significant part for Wales, Joe Allen, will miss the game due to an injury.
Opening World Cup group matches are frequently tense affairs, and this one may very easily end in a draw. However, I predict that the USMNT will win 2-1.
Thank you for reading.