Can USA make it out of World Cup Group B in Qatar? Odds, predictions for USMNT, England, Iran, Wales

By | November 9, 2022

The United States was drawn into Group B for the 2022 FIFA World Cup alongside England, Iran, and Wales.

For USMNT fans and the team alike, making it through the group is the most immediate challenge in front of them.

The Americans need a result from their first match against Wales before facing England in the middle match and then closing against a tough Iranian side.

As much as the U.S. will have ambitions of reaching the quarterfinals of the competition or beyond, nothing can happen in the knockout stage without first taking care of business in the group.

With that in mind, let’s break down the group and see what the chances are for the United States to advance to the knockout round.

Group A | Group B | Group C | Group D
Group E | Group F | Group G | Group H

2022 World Cup Group B odds

Odds via BetMGM

England is one of the favorites to not only win the group but also to win the World Cup, currently with the fourth-best odds to do so.

The United States is second-favorite to win the group and expected to reach the knockout round, but Wales is considered is expected to contend with the Americans for the second spot behind England. 

MORE: Full 2022 World Cup match schedule

Team Odds to
Qualify from Group
Odds to
Win Group
Odds to
Win World Cup
England -3000 -350 +700
USA +100 +550 +10000
Wales +115 +600 +15000
Iran +400 +1800 +50000

2022 World Cup Group B match schedule

As Group B plays on the second day of the tournament, the U.S. players will have a very quick turnaround from the conclusion of the first half of their club season to the start of the World Cup, with minimal preparation.

That first match will come against Wales, and a result will be necessary if the team has hopes of progressing to the knockout round.

MORE: USA draws England in World Cup with Black Friday match

The team then plays against England on Black Friday, followed by a final group match against Iran that could decide who escapes and who goes home.

USA World Cup Group B match schedule

Date Match Time (ET) TV channel Streaming
Mon, Nov. 21 England vs. Iran 8 a.m. FS1, Telemundo fuboTV
Mon, Nov. 21 USA vs. Wales 2 p.m. Fox, Telemundo fuboTV
Fri, Nov. 25 Wales vs. Iran 5 a.m. FS1, Telemundo fuboTV
Fri, Nov. 25 England vs. USA 2 p.m. Fox, Telemundo fuboTV
Tues, Nov. 29 Wales vs. England 2 p.m. FS1, Universo fuboTV
Tues, Nov. 29 Iran vs. USA 2 p.m. Fox, Telemundo fuboTV

What does USA need to qualify for knockout round?

In all likelihood, the USA will need at minimum four points to escape the group with any more only helping their chances to qualify for the knockouts or even win the group.

In the last World Cup in 2018, of the eight groups, only two teams advanced with four points, while all other groups featured a second-place winner sporting five or six points.

In 2014, when the USA advanced to the Round of 16, it landed on four points, second to winners Germany and level with Portugal, but advancing on goal differential. In 2010, another edition in which the U.S. advanced past the group stage, it topped the group with a five-point total, finishing ahead of England on goal differential thanks to the famous 91st minute goal by Landon Donovan against Algeria in the final group-stage match.

MORE: Group B breakdown with USA, England, Iran, Wales

To obtain the minimum four points, that means the U.S. will need to collect a positive result (win or draw) against two of the three teams in the group, with at least one win.

So where do those points come from?

USA vs. England

England is one of the favorites to win the tournament, and while an upset has happened before when these two teams have met in the past, for purposes of projecting a U.S. group finish, we’ll assume a loss as the most likely scenario on Black Friday. That leaves the USA needing four points against Iran and Wales. 

USA vs. Iran

Iran has the longest odds to escape the group despite it being ranked 20th in the world and a Pot 3 team. While the U.S. has only faced Iran twice in history, that includes an infamous loss in the 1998 World Cup. Iran also topped its final World Cup qualifying group in Asia, Nonetheless, the USA has to aim for the full three points against Iran.

USA vs. Wales

The most intriguing matchup for the USMNT will come against Wales. The Americans haven’t generally performed well against European opposition and they drew 0-0 with Wales in November 2020. As long as the U.S. gets a win against Iran, at least a draw in this opening match will be critical, while a victory in both matches against Iran and Wales would ensure the U.S. progresses no matter the result against England.

Ultimately, the U.S. should have a good chance to escape the group. This is a young but talented American team that will be ready to face off against the world’s best.

Who would the USMNT play in the World Cup knockouts?

If the United States is able to advance out of the group and into the knockout stage, it has a potential friendly draw awaiting in the Round of 16.

In the more likely result that the U.S. finishes second in the group to title challengers England, the U.S. would play the team that finishes atop Group A, featuring the Netherlands, Senegal, and Ecuador. If the U.S. were to surprise and win Group B, it would instead face the second-place finisher in Group A.

Since Group A automatically features the host nation as the top seed as per FIFA tradition, that means the group does not contain a team ranked in the top seven in the world. Netherlands are the highest ranked side at No. 8.

This is not to say that Group A favorites the Netherlands, or even Senegal or Ecuador, are pushovers by any means, but it is a more favorable group on paper than others in the tournament. It will fuel dreams of the U.S. possibly reaching the World Cup quarterfinals — an accomplishment last achieved in 2002. In the quarterfinals they would most likely face France or Argentina.

World Cup Round of 16 schedule

If the USA finished in the top two in Group B, it would advance to the Round of 16 where it would face one of the top two teams from Group A (Netherlands, Senegal, Qatar, or Ecuador).

Date Match Time (ET) Stadium
Sat, Dec. 3 1A vs. 2B 10 a.m. Khalifa Int’l
Sat, Dec. 3 1C vs. 2D 2 p.m. Ahmad Bin Ali
Sun, Dec. 4 1D vs. 2C 10 a.m. Al Thumama
Sun, Dec. 4 1B vs. 2A 2 p.m. Al Bayt
Mon, Dec. 5 1E vs. 2F 10 a.m. Al Janoub
Mon, Dec. 5 1G vs. 2H 2 p.m. Stadium 974
Tues, Dec. 6 1F vs. 2E 10 a.m. Education City
Tues, Dec. 6 1H vs. 2G 2 p.m. Lusail

World Cup Quarterfinals schedule

If the USA can advance to the quarterfinals the Americans would likely meet one of the top three favorites to win it all in Argentina (Group C) or defending champions France (Group D), who are both expected to win their respective group.

Date Match Time (ET) Stadium
Fri, Dec. 9 QF1: 1E/2F vs. 1G/2H 10 a.m. Education City
Fri, Dec. 9 QF2: 1A/2B vs. 1C/2D 2 p.m. Lusail
Sat, Dec. 10 QF3: 1F/2E vs. 1H/2G 10 a.m. Al Thumama
Sat, Dec. 10 QF4: 1B/2A vs. 1D/2C 2 p.m. Al Bayt