England remain the overwhelming favourites to win Group B and progress to the knockout stages of the 2022 World Cup, but the battle for second place could go right down to the wire in Qatar.
Group B has been described as the “group of death” by some due to it having the highest average FIFA ranking of any group.
England (7/1 to win the tournament – outright) will make their 16th appearance at a World Cup, and they will fancy their chances of building on their recent performances at major tournaments under Gareth Southgate.
The Three Lions reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, while they were beaten in the final of Euro 2020 by Italy on home soil.
England are as short as 1/3 to win Group B and, if Tottenham striker and skipper Harry Kane remains fit, then they have every chance of mounting another serious run towards the final.
Kane is 15/2 to finish as the top goalscorer in Qatar, but Southgate will hope Harry Maguire can rediscover his best form at the heart of the defence.
Iran will feature at a third-straight World Cup, and they remain the No.1 ranked team from Asia. Dragan Skocic’s team qualified with ease as they beat South Korea to finish top of their qualifying group.
However, Iran head into the World Cup in a state of disarray, with Skocic sacked last week, with Carlos Queiroz now back at the helm.
Iran are the outsiders for Group B at 16/1 and they will hope that Mehdi Taremi, Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Sardar Azmoun can find their shooting boots this winter.
The United States (11/2 – to win Group B) struggled during their qualifying campaign for Qatar, and the jury is still out on Gregg Berhalter’s side.
Berhalter’s squad is full of young and hungry stars, with Christian Pulisic the poster boy of the USA team. Gio Reyna of Borussia Dortmund will hope to help him in attack, and the USA did not struggle to find the net in qualification.
They scored 21 goals on their way to Qatar, but they may struggle to advance through the knockout rounds if they secure second.
Wales were forced to wait to secure their spot in Qatar, but they did not buckle under pressure. Robert Page’s side will appear at their first World Cup since 1958 and they are 11/2 to finish on top of the pile in Group B this winter.
Their best chance of qualifying falls at the feet of ex-Real Madrid star Gareth Bale, but if he picks up any injury, it will not come as a surprise to see Wales struggle.