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As incredible as it seems, only 10 days into this condensed World Cup we are about to wrap up two of the groups. Which means today we get matches played simultaneously, and we might need an abacus on hand to work out group permutations, especially if the scores keep changing and swinging as rapidly as Serbia, Cameroon, South Korea and Ghana managed yesterday.
In the evening Group B concludes with the highly politically charged rivalry of Iran v USA and the highly politically charged rivalry of Wales v England. Things are out of Wales’ hands. They must beat England for the first time since 1984, and hope that neither the US or Iran can conjure a win. England will progress providing they avoid a four-goal defeat, something Wales have never managed against their nearest neighbours. Surely, surely, Gareth Southgate will adjust his starting XI and give the likes of Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips some minutes?
But Iran v USA is where the fire is. With…
This article was written by Martin Belam, John Brewin, Daniel Harris and Rob Bleaney and originally published on www.theguardian.com