The story of Group B in the FIFA World Cup will come down to who comes out on top in this intriguing clash between the two nations
With England facing Iran earlier in the day, and likely to come out on top, these two teams will have that in mind going into the game at the Ahmad bin Alli Stadium, Al Rayyan. The United States have qualified again for a World Cup after their last appearance in 2014. They finished third in their CONCACAF qualifying group, behind Canada and Mexico.
Similarly, Wales will make their first appearance at a World Cup finals in 64 years and qualified after an emotionally charged 1-0 World Cup qualifying playoff win at home vs Ukraine. Manager Robert Paige will again look to the leadership of LAFC’s Gareth Bale, a legend playing his last World Cup.
Kick off: 12:30 am (IST), 7pm (GMT)
USA form (all comps): W D W D L D
Wales form (all comps): W L D L L L
Players to Watch
The legendary Welshman has provided innumerable moments of magic on the pitch for his country, on the biggest stage. However, the 33-year-old, is at the tale end of his glittering football career, after winning multiple Champions League and league titles with Real Madrid. Having announced his intention of retiring if Wales hadn’t qualified, he’d be looking to make a final point before bowing out of top-flight football forever.
The Chelsea winger, hasn’t had the best time adapting to the English Premier League, with limited game time for his club. However, he’s always performed the big occasion for his country with 19 goal contributions in the last 23 qualifying games for his country and will look to continue in the same vein in Qatar.
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Key team players for USA, Weston McKennie and Sergio Dest have been declared fit ahead of the clash on Monday. A behind-the-scenes preparation game was played against Qatari Al-Gharafa SC and a 6-0 win. Luca Del Torre is an injury doubt.
For Wales, Joe Allen’s fitness is a major point of contention for the Wales manager, and hopes his hamstring issue will be sorted out before the game.
USA Predicted Lineup (4-3-3):
Matt Turner; Sergino Dest, Walker Zimmerman, Aaron Long, Antonee Robinson; Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Brendan Aaronson; Gio Reyna, Jesus Ferreira, Christian Pulisic
Wales Predicted Lineup (3-4-3):
Wayne Hennessey; Ethan Ampadu, Joe Rodon, Ben Davies; Connor Roberts, Joe Allen, Aaron Ramsey, Neco Williams; Gareth Bale, Keiffer Moore, Daniel James
Head to Head stats
The two sides have played each other twice and Wales is yet to win. The USA won once and drew the other.
Played – 2
Drawn – 1
Wales – 0
USA vs Wales Prediction
With very little to separate these two teams, the deciding factor will be individual moments of quality. Hence, despite the tender average age of 24 years, the USA will have more quality on the ball and athleticism to outduel their European counterparts.
Prediction: USA 2-1 Wales