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Today's Free Predictions for United States vs Wales
The United States missed out on Russia 2018 and will be looking to make up for lost time with a side that has plenty of quality in it that plays both locally in the MLS and across Europe's top leagues. Wales play in the World Cup for the first time since 1958 and if we have learned anything from The Dragons' last two outings at the Euros it's to underestimate them at your peril.
These two countries played out a goalless draw back in 2020 when they met for a friendly. We're expecting another tight and tense match between these two sides and believe that the most likely result is a draw. Both teams have similarly matched squads and will be desperate to avoid defeat in their opening game of Group B. Dest, McKennie and Pulisic could be the three key players for the USA in this tournament, while Wales will be looking to Bale, Ramsey and Moore to fire them to glory.
Both of these teams pride themselves on being strong in defence and economical in front of goal which is why we're expecting a very close and competitive 90-minutes with under 2.5 goals being scored. Both managers will be determined not to lose the opening game in what is going to be a tough group to get out of and a draw could be a result that both managers will be pleased to achieve ahead of a tough game against England and what should be a win against Iran.
The odds show that the bookies expect a tight match between the USA and Wales teams, although they give the Americans a slight edge. Indeed, many pundits expect these two to battle it out for the Group B runner up spot, behind England. But in a three-game format, anything is possible.
The last time these two teams faced each other was back in November 2020. That was a goalless draw at Swansea's Liberty Stadium, which saw just three shots on target in the entire 90 minutes. Let's hope for more attacking action this time around! Before that, their only previous meeting was in 2003, when the US ran out 2-0 winners.
A close game is expected in Al-Rayyan
There were a few surprise omissions from the USA squad as well as a couple of interesting inclusions. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen wasn't selected in the end despite his good form for Middlesbrough with Sean Johnson os New York City being favoured instead. Defenders Reggie Cannon and Miles Robinson both miss out but the relatively inexperienced Joe Scally of Monchengladbach was picked to go to Qatar. The other surprise absentees were Sebastian Lletget, Paul Arriola and Gyasi Zardes who were replaced by the likes of Haji Wright who only has 3-caps for his country.
Robert Page went with largely the squad selection most expected of him, though, there was no room for QPR's Tyler Roberts or Sheffield Wednesday's Will Vaulks. Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey provide the goal threat from midfield while Kieffer Moore or Brennan Johnson will likely lead the line as the lone striker. The defence is packed with experience no more so than Chris Gunter who has 109-caps but isn't likely to start any of the group games. Wayne Hennessy hasn't played much first-team football this season and there is a good chance that Danny Ward will get the nod to start between the sticks as he has played a big part in Leicester's season so far.