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World Cup day two preview featuring England v Iran

Day two in Qatar features both England and Wales' opening games of the tournament when the home nations will hope for victories over Iran and USA.

What: England v Iran, World Cup Group B

Where: Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar

When: 13:00, Monday 21st November, 2022

How to watch: BBC1

Odds: England 1/3, Draw 15/4, Iran 10/1

With three games in total, all eyes will be glued to the TV as Group B gets underway and kicks off several weeks of football taking over the terrestrial schedules.

Even though this competition is being played out over the winter, it's still the World Cup and the pinnacle of the international calendar.

Getting off to a winning start is often viewed as crucial to set the tempo and start momentum as countries hope to start their paths to glory with a first victory.

While Wales' expectations will rightly be set lower than that of their near-neighbours as Wales are only playing in their second-ever World Cup, this is an England side it's hoped can finally deliver a trophy. They are 8/1 shots to be crowned world champions for only the second time just before Christmas.

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England often underwhelm in opener

After all, the Three Lions got to the semis in Russia four years ago before going all the way to the final of last summer's Euros. If ever a team has been building towards glory on the international stage, then it's this current Gareth Southgate-led outfit.

Well that's what the optimists will say, anyway. Those of a more negative mindset will point to the fact this is a flawed England side with serious issues in defence, a few injury headaches and one that approaches Qatar 2022 woefully out of form.

Plenty of people will also say Southgate still doesn't know his best side. Certainly, entering a major tournament on the back of a winless six-game streak and with no normal warm-up games played means England could be unsure of themselves and ring-rusty against Iran, who are painted by some as no-hopers but are actually a respectable 20th in the world rankings and are a team who have won 15 of their last 19 matches, losing just twice in that period.

Add in the heat factor in Qatar, which should favour Iran, and you have the recipe for an underwhelming opening game for England.

The Three Lions have been here before, too, narrowly only beating Tunisia four years ago 2-1 when expected to kick off with a big win, and they've 'unmemorably' drawn against USA, Algeria, Sweden and Costa Rica in recent group stage games in the competition.

What: USA v Wales, World Cup Group B

Where: Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar

When: 19:00, Monday November 21, 2022

How to watch: ITV1

Odds: USA 7/5, Draw 2/1, Wales 9/4

Wales, in contrast, should be able to play with freedom against USA, safe in the knowledge that those watching back home are just grateful to be involved.

The country's only ever previous World Cup appearance came in 1958 and, even though they have featured in the last two European Championships, they remain inexperienced on this stage.

Group B tough for Wales

They also have an ageing squad that may struggle to get out of Group B. USA are limited but dangerous opponents for Robert Page's side and this looks like being a tight clash.

A draw may well suit both countries before further tests are to come, and the US and Wales would both probably take a point in their first game as they realistically hope to finish second in the pool behind favourites England.

Wales are 11/8 to qualify out of the group, while the USA are 1/1 to progress to the last 16.

What: Senegal v Netherlands, World Cup Group A

Where: Al Thumama Stadium, Doha 

When: 16:00, Monday 21st November 2022

How to watch: ITV1

Odds: Senegal 6/1, Draw 3/1, Netherlands 8/15

Netherlands should get off to flier

The other game on Monday is the other Group A clash between the much-fancied Netherlands and Senegal.

Louis van Gaal's side, who are 12/1 to win the World Cup, approach the tournament in good form and will expect to top Group A, which also features hosts Qatar and Ecuador.

The Dutch are 8/15 to kick off with a win against a Senegal side still smarting from last week's news that star man Sadio Mane has been ruled out of the competition with a leg injury.

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