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Remind me next time

Friday will see the start of the second round of group-stage matches. Group A and Group B will provide football fans with a festival of football. The headline game on Friday will be England playing the United States. It is a massive game for both sides with progression to the knockout stages on the line.

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Elsewhere, the tournament host, Qatar, will hope to not embarrass themselves against African champions Senegal. Ecuador or the Netherlands will have the chance to achieve progression to the last 16 with a win in their fixture at the Khalifa International Stadium. Finally, Wales are hoping for all three points against a stubborn Iran team. 

We tallied up the odds for this four-fold World Cup acca. You can get odds of 8.88/1 at the time of writing. A £10 bet would win you £98.84, with a profit of £88.84.  

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Group A: Qatar vs Senegal

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Qatar were dreadful on the opening day of the World Cup against Ecuador, losing 2-0. The team’s performance was so bad that a large number of Qatari fans walked out of the game at halftime embarrassed on the grand stage of the World Cup. 

On matchday No 2 of Group A, Qatar will face African champions Senegal. The Senegalese were minutes away from a nil-nil draw with the Netherlands to start the tournament. However, the Dutch found another gear and scored twice late in the game to win. 

Qatar built up for the World Cup by suspending the domestic league to give players the chance to prepare for the tournament. The national team also played friendlies against teams that did not qualify for the World Cup. 

The team’s plans have not paid off. Ecuador would have been seen as a team Qatar could have defeated before the match. Senegal should be too strong even without Sadio Mane in the team. Senegal managed 15 shots against the Netherlands with four on target. If Senegal can put away their chances, they will get win the match. Our betting tips prediction is for the Netherlands to win and make Group A tight. 

Group A: Netherlands vs Ecuador

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The Netherlands underperformed for large chunks of their game versus Senegal to open the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Cody Gakpo and Davy Klaasen scored in the final six minutes to give the Netherlands the upper hand. Klaasen’s goal was nine minutes into second-half stoppage time. 

The Dutch had 10 shots with three on target in the opener. They kept 54% possession but were under threat for large parts of the game. 

Ecuador only conceded five shots to Qatar with zero on target. The Ecuadorians will have a far more difficult game on their hands than against Qatar. They won’t have as much possession as in the opening game. Ecuador kept 53% possession in the tournament opener. 

Netherlands and Ecuador played twice before in international competition. The Dutch won once and drew the other game. Our betting tips prediction is for the Netherlands to win at full-time and seal progression to the last 16 ahead of their final group match versus Qatar. 

Group B: England vs USA

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Friday’s big game will see England and the United States playing at the Al Bayt Stadium. This will be the late game on Friday, and it is England’s only night game in the group stage. The United States will play all three group-stage fixtures at night. 

England were rampant against Iran, winning 6-2 with five different players getting on the scoresheet. It should be a bit worrying for Gareth Southgate that the team conceded two goals to Iran. The Three Lions are head and shoulders better than the United States despite so many American players competing in Europe these days. 

Ten of the 11 players in the United States starting XI play in Europe. Only centre-back Walker Zimmermann competes in Major League Soccer. His tackle on Gareth Bale in the 18-yard box led to Wales’ penalty goal. 

The United States don’t have the depth that England do. Get past the Yanks’ starting XI, as Wales did, and the team looks weak. England should deal with the Americans’ pressure in the early stages and pass through them. England’s pace in wide areas should exploit America’s defence and push back the Yanks’ wide players. Our betting tips prediction is for England to win at full-time. 

Group B: Wales vs Iran

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Wales and Iran had differing opening days at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Wales came from behind to draw 1-1 with the United States. Iran lost 6-2 to England. The Iranians were all over the place in defence and couldn’t deal with England’s pace. Striker Mehdi Taremi showed his class and scored twice. 

Iran won’t have as many issues dealing with Wales’ pace. Wales’ manager Rob Page could start with Kieffer Moore in the attack. Moore’s introduction in the second half led to Wales getting back into the game against the United States. His ability to hold up the ball pushed the Yanks back and allowed Wales to move up the pitch. 

Iran may not be as bad as they looked against England. If they can get the ball to Taremi, Iran can score goals. Our betting tips prediction is for both teams to score on Friday at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium. 

Five of the opening 12 games at the World Cup finished with both teams scoring. Both matches played by Wales and Iran to open the tournament finished with both teams finding goals. Indeed, two of the opening 12 games of the World Cup to finish BTTS were played in Group B. 

This game should be close, with goals being scored on both sides. Wales may struggle to win against Carlos Queiroz's team, yet could get on the scoresheet.