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World Cup Group B predictions: Three Lions unlikely to encounter problems
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Bobbie Jackson
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Gareth Southgate will be confident of England topping Group B
Gareth Southgate will be confident of England topping Group B

- England made it through to the semi-finals at the 2018 World Cup
- The USA have reached the last 16 at three of the last four World Cups
- Recommended bet: England and USA straight forecast

England are not expected to experience any issues when they look to come out as top dogs in Group B at the 2022 World Cup.

England: Three Lions should fulfil favouritism to top group at 4/11

England have earned a reputation for making a mess of their group stage fixtures, even under Gareth Southgate, but a squad with major competition experience should come through Group B unscathed.

The Three Lions have only topped their group once in their last six appearances at a World Cup, failing to reach the knockout phase in 2014, while they finished second in 2018 before going on to reach the semis.

But fresh from reaching the final of the European Championships last summer after topping their section, England appear to have put those issues firmly in the past.

Southgate has a plethora of attacking options and a good balance within the squad to ensure they can keep the likes of Iran, USA and Wales out while looking to strike at the other end.

Iran (7/2 to qualify): Early exit on the cards

Iran are making their sixth appearance at a World Cup and third in succession but they have never made it beyond the group stage.

They look set for another departure at the first hurdle, despite breezing through two rounds of qualifying to secure their place in Qatar.

But that has often been the case and they tend to struggle against the bigger, more established nations on the grand stage.

Iran have won just two of their 15 previous outings in the competition and may struggle to add another to that tally.

USA (19/20 to qualify): Premier League stars could be key

Fulham's Tim Ream is one of six Premier League-based players in the USA's World Cup squad
Fulham's Tim Ream is one of six Premier League-based players in the USA's World Cup squad

The USA failed to qualify for the 2018 edition but did reach the last 16 in 2014 and 2010.

Chelsea's Christian Pulisic will be out to prove a point against England and, having scored four goals during the qualifying campaign, he could be a key figure in helping his nation to advance.

Fulham also have two representatives in the squad with defensive pair Tim Ream and Antonee Robinson earning calls, while Leeds United's midfield duo of Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson are also travelling with the squad.

Wales (1/1 to qualify): Dragons hanging hopes on Bale

Wales are appearing at a World Cup for the first time since 1958 after coming through the play-offs to secure their spot.

The Dragons have been heavily reliant on former Real Madrid star Gareth Bale, who top scored for his nation with six during qualifying, but his lack of regular football since moving to the MLS with Los Angeles FC could prove costly in Qatar.

The British side caught the eye when reaching the semi-finals at Euro 2016 but many of that squad have either now retired or are on the wrong side of 30.

Wales are 4/1 with LiveScore Bet to finish bottom of the group.

Verdict

England look extremely strong candidates to top Group B, despite their historic struggles to achieve that feat, but they are far too short to be backed solely to finish at the summit.

Instead, going for England and the USA in a straight forecast at 7/4 with LiveScore Bet looks much more attractive.

A lack of regular playing time for Gareth Bale could be a major issue for Wales, while Iran, who do have recent World Cup experience, could finish ahead of the Dragons.

Predictions

England and USA straight forecast - 7/4 with LiveScore Bet

Wales to finish bottom of the group - 4/1 with LiveScore Bet

Tags

World CupEnglandIranUSAWales
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