In less than six months from now, FIFA is all set to unfurl the latest edition of their quadrennial extravaganza that would bring together the best of the world in a contest that promises glory in its most amplified incarnation, the FIFA World Cup.
The world is already abuzz with the speculations around the globe about the star acts of the imminent tournament while who can serve as the shattering victim of expectations, as their poise and reputation crumble in front of the world.
Keeping the speculations aside, let us take a quick look at the facts that would help us understand what makes each team coming in the tournament special and what can be the possible areas of strength for teams from each group while the weakness also lingers around.
In this story, we would take a glance at the teams from Group B that offers you a story of two heavyweights, who have terribly underachieved in the stage of world football.
Despite boasting of one of the finest string of players that stays witness to the handpicked curation from the elite leagues of the world, somehow the Three Lions have come close and yet fallen so far from the finish line. They last played Hungary in the Nations League and were absolutely demolished by the underdogs with nothing to show for. However, they would take pride from the fact that they were able to stall the juggernauts of Italy and Germany in consecutive matches, despite the oppositions coming to the tournament with half their strength.
Needless to say, England will heavily bank upon the likes of Harry Kane who has already been a part of 73 contests and continues to be the driving force at the heart of their attacking enterprises with 50 goals. He would most likely be tagged along by Raheem Sterling who smashed 19 netters from the 77 games that he has played. Even if we keep the numbers aside, names like Reece James, Jack Grealish, Declan Rice, Jadon Sancho, Trent Alexander-Arnold would be bound to raise hopes for the English fans.
Iran is one team that you don’t know much about and yet their footballing exploits have been pretty gleaming over the years. Despite mixed results of late, where they lost to Algeria and South Korea, they have shown promise against Iraq, Lebanon and United Arab Emirates. They also ravaged a technically undercooked Syria en route to their World Cup glory hunt. They are a side known for their physical statures and if they would hope to leave a mark, it is important that they put in their burly physiques to the use. Their lack of speed can be compensated with a physical brand of football, that is very rarely seen in the ever-evolving roster of football, of course if you are leaving aside the glorious Premier League.
Ehsan Hajsafi would be the man to take point in midfield as Iran graces the tournament. With 114 matches under his belt, he would be joining forces with the starry attacking pair of Mehdi Taremi and Sardar Azmoun. The duo has played a combined 119 games and has plundered 67 goals between them, making them an almost unstoppable pair. Alireza Jahanbaksh is another shining light in Iran’s attacking exploits with 62 appearances that have seen him produce 13 netters.
USA has always been talked about in the highest of regards and yet the numbers that they have produced over the years have been extraordinary in patches while inconsistency has been their major bugbear. They have been undefeated since March 31st, 2022 while they took down the likes of Morocco and Grenada emphatically. They also shared the spoils with El Salvador in a questionable affair that had more brawls than football while they wrung out a hard-fought stalemate against Uruguay.
DeAndre Yedlin would be a significant moniker, rallying the defensive troops of USA while the combination of Timothy Weah, Jesus Ferreira and Christian Pulisic would be pulling the trigger for the States. The team is high on energy given the youngsters who hail from the hallowed lands while their defence has been promising of late. However, in enterprises like these, it is impowrtant that a team knows what their actual strengths are instead of just firing in the dark which would probably take you forward by a fair distance but not to your destination.
The Welsh wizards have always been spoken highly about but watching them perform at the grandest stage of all would be nothing short of euphoria for the football fans. They pipped the high-flying Orange brigade in a thriller that witnessed the team’s true potential, when it is on a mission. They even managed to share the spoils with Belgium after a hard-fought 90 minutes.
Gareth Bale would be their obvious leader supreme but the energy comes from youngsters like Daniel James, Brennan Johnson, Sorba Thomas and Rubin Colwill. Aaron Ramsey and Chris Gunter would be bringing home the experience alongside the Welsh speedster who won’t be regular for sure but then always brings the guns to the tables. Bale is the most seasoned Welsh footballer with 39 netters from 106 international games.