Wales beat Ukraine in the World Cup play-off clash in Cardiff to reach the 2022 tournament, with Robert Page’s side competing on a global stage for the first time since 1958. The coach deserves enormous credit for his achievements with the national team and they also made the round of sixteen at the delayed Euro 2020 before losing heavily to Denmark.

If you think that the Welsh can win their opening game in Group B against the United States, you will find that they are the outsiders to claim a victory. With both teams facing a stubborn Iran and a strong England side in this section, it might well be that this clash decides who goes through in second spot.

So why are Wales the betting outsiders? Perhaps it’s because they are a modest European side who were out of their depth in the Nations League A in 2022. They took just a point from their six matches against Netherlands, Belgium and Poland, although they were rarely outclassed and scored six goals while conceding eleven.

Naturally, there will be plenty of focus on Gareth Bale, the one world-class player who has over 100 appearances for his country and forty goals on the board. Strangely enough, he has been competing in the Major League for the past few months when representing Los Angeles FC and will have witnessed several of his opponents first-hand.

The United States are World Cup betting favourites to win this clash and they will feel as though they can go deep in Qatar, with second place very much up for grabs behind England. Gregg Berhalter arguably has the strongest US team in the country’s history and this American side are ranked 16th in the FIFA standings.

On the flip side, the US team finished third in their qualifying group behind Canada and Mexico, with the North American side only able to win 50% of their games against seven other opponents. Christian Pulisic is a well-known operator and is likely to be joined by Brenden Aaronson who has shone for Leeds United this term.

Tyler Adams is another Leeds player who could be lining up against Wales, with Weston McKinnie one of the star performers for Juventus and there’s a feeling as though a number of younger American players are coming to the fore and now have the chance to help Team US record their best finish in the tournament.

Even so, Wales will look to dig their heels in and they are far from a one-player team. Kieffer Moore is operating for Bournemouth in the Premier League and offers a real threat in an attacking position, with Aaron Ramsay hoping that his experience with Nice can help the nation achieve their aim of qualifying for the last sixteen.


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