The second round of the World Cup begins in the qualifying round. Co-favourites Netherlands and England could already make things clear for the round of 16.
Wales – Iran (11:00)
Wales: After a 1-1 draw with the USA through a late penalty goal from star forward and captain Gareth Bale, the 2016 European Championship semi-finalists are hoping for their first win. With manager Rob Page’s team, of course, the main focus is the final group game against England on Tuesday. For Daniel James, this time Kiefer Moore could have attacked from the start. Long-time injured midfielder Joe Allen is back in full practice.
Iranian: The pressure on eleven is huge – sporting and political. In the match against Wales, the country will also look to see if the players remain silent during the national anthem, thereby expressing their support for the protests. In terms of sport, after the 2:6 match against England, the round of 16 still needs a win if possible. Coach Carlos Queiroz looks set to rebuild himself, especially in defense. It is not yet clear whether goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand, who suffered a head injury in the first match, will play. Leverkusen striker Sardar Azmoun is expected to start.
Qatar – Senegal (14:00)
Train: After losing 2-0 to Ecuador in the opening game of the World Cup, the home team in Group A is already under a lot of pressure. In case of defeat, there is a risk of premature cancellation of the tournament. If the team draws, the winners of Ecuador against the Netherlands will have already advanced to the round of 16. “We are the lions and we are trying to get six points from the next few games. We can make no mistakes and we have to make sure we can continue our dream,” Kalidou Koulibaly stressed.
Senegal: Like Qatar, Senegal lost its first match 2-0 against the Netherlands. For the team from Africa, the same requirements apply as for the rival Qatar. Only one win can prevent the end of the tournament. Abdou Diallo is again available against Qatar. The 26-year-old was injured in a 2-0 draw with the Netherlands, but has since returned to team training. Cheikhou Kouyate, who suffered an ankle injury in the opening match, is still in doubt.
Holland: After beating Senegal 2-0, another win could get them early into the round of 16. Coach Louis van Gaal won’t change his starting lineup much, but Memphis Depay’s starting lineup looks certain. The FC Barcelona striker was substituted an hour later against Senegal as he had not practiced a match since mid-September due to injury.
Ecuador: Confidence is great, atmosphere is great. After beating the hosts Qatar 2-0 in the start, the South Americans are also feeling strong enough for the Netherlands. “We are now playing against a team that wants to be world champion. We have nothing to lose,” said national coach Gustavo Alfaro. It is not yet clear whether striker Énner Valencia will play. The 33-year-old Fenerbahce football player suffered a blow to his ankle after scoring two goals against Qatar.
England v USA (20:00)
England: Head coach Southgate has little reason to make major changes after his famous 6-2 win over Iran. The more offensive 4-2-3-1 system, with Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham as the key centre-player, should also remain in place. Phil Foden and Jack Grealish are the nominees for the top eleven. Captain Harry Kane got in shape in time.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: After a 1-1 draw with Wales, Giovanni Reyna from Dortmund, who was not called up, was able to make the starting 11 while the USA team was still under great pressure after a strong first half. But who stays out? Former Bremen Josh Sargent, Wales striker Timothy Weah or someone else entirely? The Americans fearlessly duel with the favorites of the group.
With a passion for storytelling and reporting, I am an experienced writer and Editor with a focus on sports. As an Author at News Unrolled, I write engaging stories on the latest developments in the world of sports. My articles have been featured on numerous global media outlets and my work has been highly praised by renowned editors.