The 2022 World Cup is upon us.
The tournament kicked off Sunday with a 2-0 Ecuador win over host nation Qatar and continues in earnest on Monday with three matches.
The United States and England are in Group B and both are looking for three points ahead of their massive Black Friday clash. Both teams are favored in their opening games and would be in a great position to advance with wins on Monday.
England vs. Iran
8 a.m. ET Monday, Fox Sports 1
England should win this one with ease, although we’re fascinated about how this game plays out. Iran is coached by Carlos Queiroz. His teams are known to bunker in front of the goal and prevent goals at all costs. England wants to play five defenders at the back and would prefer to strike on the counter. The Three Lions will dominate possession. And if there was ever a time for Gareth Southgate to play four at the back and Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips and Jude Bellingham all in midfield, this is it.
United States vs. Wales
2 p.m. ET, Monday, Fox
As you probably know, the USMNT is back at the World Cup for the first time since 2014. That drought is nothing compared to a Wales squad that’s in a World Cup for the first time in 64 years. Gareth Bale is still the star for Wales after playing a part-time role at LAFC and Aaron Ramsey is still a key component. The biggest question for the Welsh is Joe Allen; he suffered an injured hamstring in September and hasn’t played since. If Allen can’t go, there is no real replacement for him in the squad.
We’ll take the US to win this one in what could be one of the top five most critical matchups of the group stage. The loser of this game has a massive climb to make the Round of 16.
Senegal vs. Netherlands
11 a.m. ET Monday, Fox
Senegal’s odds haven’t budged with the news that star forward Sadio Mane is out. We’d be inclined to place a flier on a draw, however. This is Africa’s best team and Ismaila Sarr is capable of leading the front line while Kalidou Koulibaly is one of the best defenders in the world.