Match previews for Day 10 as the final round of group games at 2022 FIFA World Cup commence, starting with Groups A and B.
In Group A, Netherlands, Ecuador and Senegal are battling out for the two qualification spots for the Round of 16, with the Dutch and Ecuador simply needing to avoid defeat in order to advance.
Group B meanwhile has multiple qualification scenarios with all four teams still holding a mathematical prospect of reaching the knockout stages.
Now, here is a look at all four matches across Groups A and B plus individual predictions.
Group A (3:00pm GMT)
Ecuador vs Senegal
With a draw being enough to see Ecuador advance, it will be interesting to see how they approach this game because if they and Netherlands both win, Ecuador can top the group if they outscore the Dutch.
The only issue facing Ecuador though is that they can be largely wasteful of their chances despite having dominated their two group games which can’t be afforded in this game, especially against another strong team in Senegal who can cause issues of their own.
Senegal though must win in order to progress so I can see them looking to come out aggressively attack this game, which could suit Ecuador and their mainly defensive style.
With that in mind, I do expect a tough contest but Ecuador should have enough to scrape through.
Prediction: Ecuador 1-1 Senegal
Result: Ecuador 1-2 Senegal
Netherlands vs Qatar
With a draw at minimum being enough to see them through, I do expect Netherlands to come out fighting to get the win and top this group but they will need to learn to control the match across 90 minutes after two contrastable halves in their draw against Ecuador on Friday.
Qatar meanwhile were expectedly outclassed by Senegal and are now out but one positive is that they looked much better on the attack, with their first World Cup goal likely to provide a morale boost coming into their final game of the tournament.
On that note, I do expect Qatar to hopefully bring a dangerous threat now that the pressure is off them but the Dutch really should win this rather comfortably.
Prediction: Netherlands 3-0 Qatar
Result: Netherlands 2-0 Qatar
Group B (7:00pm GMT)
Iran vs USA
With multiple qualification scenarios for all four teams in this group, Iran and USA who sit second and third both know that they will have to dig deep and hope results go their way if they’re to advance.
For Iran, victory will see them through but a draw coupled with a win for Wales will make the maths quite complicated, yet they can be buoyed by a disciplined but hard-working win over Wales last time out but they will need to defensively handle USA’s pace and dynamism here.
USA meanwhile really should of beaten a sluggish England on Friday yet were extremely wasteful in their end product, despite strong attacking press and agility plus solid defensive runs and recoveries so I do expect improvement because they simply must win if want to advance.
In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if USA do get that win because if they play with their usual attacking flair, I can see them doing what England did to Iran and comfortably getting a victory.
Prediction: Iran 0-3 USA
Result: Iran 0-1 USA
Wales vs England
Although this is a blockbuster derby between two British Isle teams, Wales simply have to win and hope that Iran and USA draw but improvement is required, following a lacklustre effort against Iran in which they lacked much end product and defensively imploded once down to 10 men.
England meanwhile returned to their sluggish quality of this summer in a deflating performance against USA, underlining how contrastable this team can be at times but rotation is surely certain seeing as only a heavy defeat plus results elsewhere going against them would see them eliminated.
Nevertheless, this game is also about local pride for country and those back home so I do expect both teames to come out and attack, but the Three Lions should win this comfortably if can rediscover their spark from the opening win over Iran.
Prediction: Wales 1-2 England
Result: Wales 0-3 England