- What: USA vs. Wales, 2022 FIFA World Cup - Group B
- When: Monday, November 21, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. EST
- Where: Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Qatar
The United States Men's National Team is making its coveted return to the World Cup after disastrously missing out on the event in 2018 in Russia. After failing to qualify for the last edition of soccer's most renowned tournament, the USMNT is set to make its first appearance since 2014. In doing so, they'll take on Wales, who snapped a long tournament absence, having last featured in the FIFA World Cup all the way back in 1958.
With two teams eager to put their best foot forward in their coveted returns to the World Cup, the Group B fixture figures to be a high-stakes one. Before we dive into the action, make sure to check out our FIFA World Cup betting guide in order to refresh yourself with tips and tricks since the last edition of the tournament, and also take a look at our soccer betting guide which is flush with useful information.
USA vs. Wales Odds
|USA||+165||Over 2.5 (-115)|
|Wales||+190||Under 2.5 (-105)|
These two teams match up very closely, and the odds reflect that heading into their Group B clash. The United States are considered slight favorites over Wales at (+165) odds to win, vs. the Welsh side's (+190). A draw is considered a potentially likely outcome, too, at (+195) odds. A relatively high-scoring game is expected too, with the total set for 2.5 goals.
Why USA can win
The United States Men's National Team will look to keep up its strong defensive play against a Wales team that has struggled to protect the net of late. In its last five games, the USMNT had kept three clean sheets and surrendered a total of just three goals, while scoring six themselves. On the opposite side, Wales have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last five games, a stretch during which the country is without a win and has been outscored 9-5.
The USMNT will bring a slew of its top talent to the World Cup, including Premier League standouts in Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Tyler Adams and Brendan Aaronson (Leeds United), Tim Ream and Antonee Robinson (Fulham), and Matt Turner (Arsenal). In total, nine of the 26 players in the USMNT squad are from the MLS, while the other 17 play in Europe.
The most experienced player for the USMNT will be DeAndre Yedlin, who will take up one of the fullback positions. He's the only player on the roster with previous World Cup experience, having featured back in 2014 in Brazil. Yedlin boasts 75 international caps for the USMNT, so he'll be crucial for some of the younger players to lean on.
These two teams have not faced off since 2020, at which point the result was a 0-0 draw. However, with the United States in better form, and having more World Cup experience between the two sides (albeit still very little experience), the USMNT should be able to get the job done in the crucial contest.
Why Wales can win
Wales has not been to the World Cup in 64 years, so their return in 2022 is extremely special for the nation. 1958 was the last time the Welsh were represented at soccer's biggest tournament, so to say the team will be determined to start things off with a win is an understatement. FIFA world rankings put very little in between USA and Wales. In fact, the USMNT is ranked as the No. 16 squad in the world, compared to Wales who are hot on their tails at No. 19.
Wales is led by Gareth Bale, who will join forces with Premier League standouts in Daniel James and former Liverpool man Harry Wilson as they hope to make some noise in Qatar. That trio figures to play a prominent role in the Welsh attack, but it's defensively where things get a bit more difficult.
Wales has not kept a clean sheet, or recorded a win, in any of its last five games. Wales' last international victory came against Ukraine on June 5 when they booked their ticket to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in a 1-0 victory during UEFA WC Qualification. Since then, the results have not been as positive.
Gareth Bale is one professional cap away from becoming Wales' all-time leader in matches played, so he'll be playing with some added motivation to find the back of the net during the first game of the World Cup. With 108 appearances in his bag, there won't be a more experienced player on the pitch than Bales, who could be the decisive factor in the match's outcome.
With both teams motivated heading into the tournament, this figures to be a close game. It's hard to pick one side to separate from the other in the matchup between Wales and USA, so we're going to play the fence and roll with the draw after 90 minutes. It should be a nervy match and both teams will be aiming to play mistake-free soccer, even if that means settling for a draw rather than risking it all for three points. With that in mind, USA and Wales to draw (+195) is the pick for this match.
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