It has been an intriguing start to the 2022 World Cup Finals, with some teams making an excellent start, while others have seen their hopes of World Cup glory severely dented following a couple of massive shock results in the first set of group games.

It’s also been a good one for bookmakers too, with some heavy favourites losing their opening game, but punters have had some joy with other big favourites winning their opening matches, some by very comfortable scorelines.

You can enjoy plenty of betting both pre-match and In Play on every game at the World Cup with bet365 Sport and remember, the site also offers some excellent outright betting markets, and the odds in these markets have changed somewhat since the tournament began on the back of the opening results for some teams.

Today sees the final set of four opening group games taking place in Groups G and H, and amongst the teams playing today include the World Cup favourites Brazil, plus Cristiano Ronaldo will also lead his Portugal team into action.

However, it is the games taking place on Friday that are perhaps most interesting to football fans in the UK with the early game seeing Wales take on Iran (kick off 10am UK Time) and then later on in the evening, England will try to land their first ever World Cup Finals victory over the United States in the late kick off.

Before we focus on Friday’s games, let’s quickly recap how the World Cup Finals have gone so far.

World Cup Group Stages Scores So Far

Group A

  • Qatar 0-2 Ecuador (Valencia 16(p), 31)
  • Senegal 0-2 Netherlands (Gakpo 84, Klaasen 90+9)

Group B

  • England 6-2 Iran (Bellingham 35, Saka 43,62, Sterling 45+1, Rashford 81, Grealish 90) (Taremi 65, 90+13 (p))
  • United States 1-1 Wales (Weah 36), (Bale 82(p))

Group C

  • Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia (Messi 10(p)), (Alshehri 48, Aldawsari 53)
  • Denmark 0-0 Tunisia

Group D

  • Mexico 0-0 Poland
  • France 4-1 Australia (Rabiot 27, Giroud 32,71, Mbappe 58), (Goodwin 9)

Group E

  • Morocco 0-0 Croatia
  • Germany 1-2 Japan (Gundogan 33(p)), (Doan 75, Asano 83)

Group F

  • Spain 7-0 Costa Rica (Olmo 11, Asensio 21, Torres 31(p),54, Gavi 74, Soler 90, Morata 90+2)
  • Belgium 1-0 Canada (Batshuayi 44)

Group G

  • Switzerland 1-0 Cameroon (Embolo 48)
  • Brazil v Serbia (7pm Kick Off)

Group H

  • Uruguay v South Korea (1pm Kick Off)
  • Portugal v Ghana (4pm Kick Off)

Who Performed Well In Their Opener?

England, France and Spain all provided the most impressive performances in their opening games, recording high scoring wins and putting themselves in a very strong position to qualify from their group in the next game.

What Were The Biggest Shocks?

There’s no doubt that Argentina’s 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia was a stunning shock in the tournament but that was then followed by Germany also going down to a 2-1 defeat to Japan. Belgium were incredibly fortunate to beat Canada who played superbly but could not find the net, going down to a 1-0 defeat to the European side.

Most Boring Game?

There’s been a couple of dour ones but Mexico v Poland was a shocker with neither team really looking like they wanted to commit to winning the game and in a group with Argentina losing to Saudi Arabia, that was very surprising.

Best Game?

Either Germany’s 2-1 loss to Japan or Belgium’s fortunate 1-0 win over Canada were probably the most entertaining games, but it was also good to see France, England and Spain hit their best form too.

Best Goal?

Al Dawsari’s winning goal for Saudi Arabia against Argentina is probably the best goal of the tournament so far, with Bukayo Saka’s first goal for England against Iran and Gavi’s excellent finish against Costa Rica also worth noting.

Worst Performance?

Argentina lacked fight against Saudi Arabia, Belgium were awful and fortunate to beat Canada but Costa Rica were absolutely dire against Spain and the 7-0 defeat was about right given how poorly they played.

With the first game today now in the bag, it is going to be interesting to see how the likes of Uruguay, Portugal, Ghana, Serbia and Brazil get on in the remaining opening set of group games today.

However, for England and Wales fans, the focus is very much going to be on their second game of the tournament which will take place tomorrow.

British World Cup Interest & Tips

Wales v Iran (10am)

After a 1-1 draw against the United States, Wales head into this game knowing that they will likely need to pick up a win here to stand a chance of progressing from this group.

Manager Rob Page will probably keep Kieffer Moore in attack after the strikers introduction at half time against the USA turned the game in Wales favour and the return of Joe Allen from injury will also give them a key man in the holding role in midfield. Allen was sorely missed against the USA.

Iran will likely be without their goalkeeper Beirenvand who had a nasty head injury in the game with England after colliding with his own defender but Wales will have to be wary of Mehdi Taremi, who is joint top scorer at the finals with two goals so far.

That said, if England can put six past Iran, then Wales should certainly be capable of winning this game and I am predicting that they will do precisely that.

I have outlined my tips for the game below:

  • Full Time Result – Wales – 21/20
  • Correct Score – Wales 3-1 Iran – 20/1
  • Anytime Goalscorer – Kieffer Moore (Wales) – 5/2

England v United States (7pm)

It’s strange to think that England have never beaten the United States in a World Cup game, losing 1-0 in one of the big World Cup upsets in 1950 and then they drew 1-1 when the teams met in the 2010 World Cup Finals in South Africa.

The only other US victory in that time was the 2-0 win at the US Cup in 1993, when Graham Taylor’s England were beaten by the future World Cup hosts. However, the other eight games have all been England wins with the most recent a 3-0 win at Wembley in 2018.

With Harry Kane fit and England’s confidence sky high after the big win over Iran, Gareth Southgate would love to get qualification sorted with a win here, allowing him to rest players for the game with Wales.

And I think that is precisely what is going to happen as I am tipping England to come away with another solid victory on Friday night.

My tips for England’s game against the United States are outlined below:

  • Full Time Result – England – 11/20
  • Correct Score – England 3-1 United States – 14/1
  • Anytime Goalscorer – Raheem Sterling (England) – 15/8

*All odds shown in this article were correct with bet365 Sport at the time of writing.