The end of the group stage is finally getting closer at the World Cup, as the final rounds of fixtures in Groups A and B will be played on Tuesday. There is still a lot to play for in both groups, with at least three teams in both still able to qualify for the round of 16.
Ecuador vs Senegal
- Ecuador: 15/10
- Draw: 22/10
- Senegal: 21/10
The most interesting game in Group A in the final round of fixtures will see Ecuador and Senegal clash. Both nations will be chasing a win in this fixture, with Senegal knowing that only maximum points will likely see them progress. Ecuador could reach the next round with just a point.
The African nation has won both previous meetings against Ecuador, but this will be a first clash at the World Cup. Ecuador will be looking to reach the round of 16 for just the second time in their history, and I think the form of Enner Valencia could be crucial for the South Americans on Tuesday.
Netherlands vs Qatar
- Netherlands: 1/5
- Draw: 6/1
- Qatar: 13/1
The Netherlands look on course to top Group A, which was an outcome that many predicted before the start of the tournament. However, they haven’t been the most convincing throughout the tournament, and their shortcomings were evident in a recent 1-1 draw against Ecuador. Regardless, the Dutch have won all four previous World Cup matches that they have played against Asian opposition, and they have won every final group stage game that they have played at the World Cup aside from a defeat against Scotland in 1978.
Qatar will be looking to avoid becoming the first World Cup host to lose all three games. But, they have looked extremely weak in comparison to the sides that they have come up against at the World Cup. Therefore, a comfortable win for the Dutch looks like the most likely outcome.
Wales vs England
- Wales: 13/2
- Draw: 36/10
- England: 9/20
England will be looking to avoid a shock departure at the World Cup in their final group game, but the Three Lions would need to be beaten by a massive margin to fall at the first hurdle. The pressure was piled on Gareth Southgate over the weekend, as England were void of ideas in a 0-0 draw against the United States. England looked overly defensive in that fixture, and will need to play with the same attacking freedom that saw them beat Iran to claim victory on Tuesday.
Wales can still qualify for the next round of the competition, but they will need a big win and Iran and the United States to draw. That appears unlikely based on the performances that they have put in throughout the World Cup, as they were beaten by Iran in their previous game. England has a fine record in this fixture, and we expect them to get back on track on Tuesday.
Iran vs USA
- Iran: 27/10
- Draw: 24/10
- USA: 11/10
The big game in Group B will see the United States take on Iran. It will once again be a politically charged match between the rivals, who previously clashed at the World Cup in 1998. On that occasion, Iran picked up a first-ever World Cup win, and knocked out in the United States in the process. A repeat of that result would see them reach the round of 16, while a draw will also be enough.
The United States will need to claim victory in the fixture, but they have looked short in the final third throughout their group games to this point. The first 15 minutes of this match will be crucial, but we could see Iran holding on to the point that they need to reach the round of 16.