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WORLD CUP 2022

Who are the most important players in Group B at the Qatar World Cup 2022?

See if you agree with who we think are the most important players in each group.

Joe Brennan
Update:
DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 15: Brenden Aaronson of United States poses during the official FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 portrait session at  on November 15, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Maddie Meyer - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer - FIFAGetty

We had Group A’s most important players yesterday, so now it’s Group B’s turn. This one was easy.

Group B

England - Kalvin Phillips

OK, I know a recurring shoulder injury has kept Kalvin Phillips out of action for what seems like forever, but the midfielder made it onto Gareth Southgate’s shortlist after being the man who held the Euro 2020 team together. Playing in a more advanced role than he did for Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds United, Kalvin shone on the European stage and even got the assist for England’s first goal at the tournament. He was an ever present in the side and won the England Player of the Year award for his performances. Southgate will be desperate to get him fully fit in time for the opening game against Iran.

Iran - Mehdi Taremi

The Porto striker curiously didn’t arrive to European football until 2019, when, at the age of 27, he signed for Portuguese side Rio Ave. Prior to that, the 6ft 1inch Iranian had scored at an incredible rate, and for Iran he is the source of hope of getting any positive results out of a tough group. Iran love to sit deep, so having a presence up front when the time comes to snatch at anything that comes their way will be key, and Taremi is the man for that.

Taremi has one goal per game in Europe for Porto this season.
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Taremi has one goal per game in Europe for Porto this season.Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES SportfotoGetty

USA - Brenden Aaronson

The ex-Philadelphia Union midfielder... wait, is he a midfielder? Aaronson is kind of an everywhere-all-the-time-er, running and running not stopping until the referee tells everyone its time to go because the car park is getting locked by the groundskeeper and his car is inside. Gregg Berhalter will love having someone as energetic and dangerous in his team, someone who is able to make already nervous defences nervous-er and trust me, don’t trust those glistening eyes and luscious locks of hair, because heartbreaker Brenden will draw you in before running right past you.

Wales - Gareth Bale

The Real Madrid legend is probably going to play his last World Cup this year, unless he comes out of retirement in 2026 just to feature (don’t discount it). The winger will probably want to leave his mark on the tournament and will no doubt be fundamental to any progress Wales make. It’s a tasty group, this one, and Bale will surely relish the opportunity to put the sword to England, his old stomping ground, and the USA, his current one.

Do you agree? Let us know (@English _AS).

Check out the AS full guide to all the players, matches and just about everything else

The most important players in the rest of the groups:

Group B fixtures

21 November: Khalifa International Stadium: England-Iran 08:00 am ET / 05:00 am PT

21 November: Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium: USA-Wales 02:00 pm ET / 11:00 am PT

25 November: Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium: Wales-Iran 05:00 am ET / 02:00 am PT

25 November: Al Bayt Stadium: England-USA 2:00 pm ET / 11:00 am PT

29 November: Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium: Wales-England 2:00 pm ET / 11:00 am PT

29 November: Al Thumama Stadium: Iran-USA 2:00 pm ET / 11:00 am PT

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