FIFA World Cup 2022
Day #2 World Cup
World Cup Day 2. Previews and Betting Tips
Day 2 of the World Cup and we are spoiled for choice with three games on the cards. The African Champions take to the pitch when they play Netherlands, then England start their campaign against Iran. The final match of the day sees USA take on Wales.
Here is a preview of these games and our betting picks. For latest world cup news, key players, team profiles, World Cup trivia and more, check out the BetKing World Kup Hub.
Senegal vs Netherlands
This is the marquee fixture in Group A between two teams tipped to qualify out of the group. Senegal arrive at Qatar as the African Champions and have a team bursting at the seams with talent.
The Oranje are not just contenders to win the group but are in the running to win the tournament (13.00) and will start off the World Cup against the great African hope. Senegal are the highest-ranked African team at the World Cup and will be aiming to do better than Ghana’s 2010 Quarter Final exit.
Senegal’s last competitive fixture was a repeat of the African Nations Cup final against Egypt. They needed penalties after the game ended 1-1 on aggregate, and just like the Nations Cup final, the Teranga Lions were victorious via penalty shootout.
The Netherlands come into the World Cup on the back of an excellent qualifying run and picked up where they left off in the UEFA Nations League. They qualified for the World Cup with only one game lost and dropped points only once in a Nations League group that included Belgium, Poland and Wales.
Some of Senegal’s vim might be dampened by the injury to top scorer and talisman Sadio Mane. The Bayern Munich forward hobbled off with an injury to his right fibula after 20 minutes in Bayern’s 6-1 thumping of Werder Bremen, just weeks before the World Cup
That injury cast doubt on his participation in the World Cup, however, he was named as part of Aliou Cisse’s 26-man squad and is expected to miss all three group fixtures, but could be available for the last-16 tie if Senegal advance.
Potential Senegal starting XI: E.Mendy; Koulibaly, Cisse, Sabaly, Ciss; Gueye, N.Mendy, P.Sarr, Diedhiou, Bia, I.Sarr
Louis van Gaal’s only injury concern for the match is Jurrien Timber who picked up a light knock that could mean he would sit out the first match of the tournament.
Potential Netherlands starting XI: Passveer; de Ligt, van Dijk, Dumfries; de Vrij, de Jong, Berghuis, de Roon; Blind, Depay, Bergwijn.
The Netherlands are famous for playing a “total football” style, a 4-3-3 formation that is fluid and attacking, with players often interchanging positions during the game. However, Louis Van Gaal has since adopted a 5-3-2 strategy that is more pragmatic, if less exciting.
While this new style has had its critics, the results have spoken for themselves. The Oranje are one of the most in-form teams at the World Cup and have looked solid in all positions.
While Sadio Mane’s absence is a huge blow for Senegal, Aliou Cisse’s team have found a way to grind out games. Expect The Netherlands to have most of the possession with Senegal looking to hit them on the counter, a strategy that suits them with the pace they have going forward.
The Netherlands have the edge based on the form they are in and the strength of their squad, however, they will find Senegal difficult to break down and will have to be patient. A slim win for The Oranje looks likely.
- Netherlands to win @ 1.60
- Over 2.5 goals @ 2.13
- 2nd Half Under 1.5 @ 1.56
England Vs Iran
The Three Lions will be glad to get over what was a disappointing Nations League campaign and are looking to banish the demons of the Euro 2020 final.
Their first hurdle is Iran- coached by the experienced Carlos Queiroz- who finished above South Korea in AFC qualifying. While they might not be one of the heavyweights in World football, Iran are in their third successive World Cup tournament and boast one of their most talented teams in a while.
While England are the overwhelming favourites to win this clash, they have had an abysmal Nations League campaign that saw them lose twice to Hungary and finish bottom of their group. They did manage an entertaining 3-3 draw with Germany in their last Nations League match. They breezed through World Cup qualifying, finishing unbeaten in ten matches played and dropping points only twice. That form is what Gareth Southgate will be hoping his team brings to Qatar.
Iran also qualified comfortably, finishing top of Group A in the third round of Asian qualifying with 25 points from 10 matches. Ending up above South Korea who were the only team they dropped points against in a 1-1 draw in Tehran.
They have played three warm-up friendlies leading up to the tournament in Qatar. They beat Uruguay 1-0 in September, then played out a 1-1 draw four days later against Senegal.
In their most recent friendly, they defeated Nicaragua 1-0 in Iran to make it 2 wins and a draw in the matches played with Carlos Queiroz in charge.
Gareth Southgate will be sweating over the fitness of Kalvin Philips and Kyle Walker, but otherwise has a fully fit team to select from, with Luke Shaw likely to fill in for the injured Kyle Walker.
Potential England starting XI: Pickford; Shaw, Maguire, Stones, Dier, Trippier; Bellingham, Rice, Foden, Saka, Kane,
The first name on Queiroz’s team sheet is likely Mehdi Taremi. The FC Porto striker has 28 goals in 60 matches for Iran, and has also been bagging the goals for Porto with 62 goals in 114 matches.
Sardar Azmoun is in the squad despite dealing with a calf problem that has kept him out of action since early October.
Potential Iran starting XI: Beiranvand; Moharrami, Kanani, Khalilzadeh, Jalali; Ghoddos, Ezatoahi, Hajsafi; Jahanbakhsh, Taremi, Torabi
Gareth Southgate’s team are hardly exciting to watch, with a back three that tries to stay compact and wing backs that are quick, the end game is often to whip in the ball to Harry Kane who often will finish even half chances.
Carlos Queiroz will be expecting this and will charge his side to stay disciplined and compact, while looking for opportunities to catch the England backline high up the pitch.
England play against the lowest-ranked team in the group and are rightly tipped to win the match, they however will play cautiously and look to take advantage of setpieces. Do not expect fireworks, this is likely going to be a low-scoring affair.
- England to win @ 1.38
- Under 2.5 goals @ 1.63
- England win or draw @ 1.04
USA vs Wales
The second match in Group B features USA and Wales, two teams with a decent chance of progressing out of the group and will both be aiming to make a good start to the tournament.
Wales return to the World Cup for only their second ever appearance after a 60-year absence, while USA are in their 11th World Cup after missing out the last one.
Both teams had troubling records going into the competition. While Wales lost three straight Nations League games and haven’t won since the 1-0 victory over Ukraine that guaranteed World Cup qualification, the United States struggled through two pre-World Cup friendlies against Japan and Saudi Arabia in September.
USA won seven out of 14 games to earn the final automatic spot from the CONCACAF region, finishing in third behind Canada and Mexico.
The Gregg Berhalter led side also won the Gold Cup, finishing with an unbeaten home record. It is their seventh Gold Cup title and they won five of six matches by a 1-0 scoreline.
However, it is in the pre-world cup friendlies they have failed to impress, losing to Japan and playing a goalless draw with Saudi Arabia.
In a five-team group that included Belgium, Czech, Estonia and Belarus, Wales effectively were contesting for a playoff spot, particularly because of Belgium’s presence in the group.
The Red Dragon secured that playoff spot, then saw off Ukraine off in dramatic fashion. They however, have had to endure a painful time at the Nations League where they have not managed a single win in a group with Poland, Netherlands, and Belgium.
Even though Christian Pulisic hasn’t featured regularly for Chelsea, he is still the National team’s talisman. The 24-year-old was crucial in qualifying and scored the winning goal in extra time of their CONCACAF Nations League triumph over Mexico and also scored a hat-trick in their 5-1 win against Panama.
Only defender Miles Robinson is out injured for the United States, otherwise they are fully fit coming into the World Cup.
Sergino Dest carries a small knock and might not feature in the match against Wales.
Potential USA starting XI: Turner; Yedlin, Ream, Zimmerman, Robinson; McKennie, Adams, Musah; Weah, Ferreira, Pulisic
Wales’ focal point is Gareth Bale. However, the winger’s fitness has been a concern, Bale has played only half an hour of football since playing all 90 minutes for Wales’ in their Nations League defeat to Poland in September.
Swansea City midfielder Joe Allen has not played since mid-September because of a hamstring injury, but there are many options if he is unable to start.
Potential Wales starting XI: Hennessey; Ampadu, Rodon, Davies; Roberts, Allen, Ramsey, Williams; Bale, Moore, James
Robert Page will likely stick to his favoured 3-4-3 system. It is what they played in qualification and helps them stay solid at the back.
Most of the attack will be through Bale, Ramsey, and Dan James. However, Joe Allen is the engine that keeps it all ticking.
Having Weston McKinnie or another midfielder pressure Allen could help disrupt Wale’ attacking flow.
There isn’t much between these two sides. Wales come into the game in high spirits considering what it took for them to qualify and should have some of that belief left over into the game. A draw looks likely on the card with both coaches deploying conservative tactics.
- Both teams score @ 2.15
- Wales win or draw @ 1.50
- Over 8.5 corners @ 1.71
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