It's off again for a round, the teams of groups A and B which had opened the World Cup on Sunday and Monday, are the first to return to the front of the stage.
The Qatar-Senegal meeting (group A) will be worth a look between two beaten first matches.
But the clash between England and the United States (group B), both cultural and sporting, is certainly the most anticipated, isn't it?
11 a.m.: Wales - Iran (beIN)
2 p.m.: Qatar - Senegal (beIN)
5 p.m.: Netherlands - Ecuador (beIN)
8 p.m.: England - United States (beIN, TF1)
The poster: England - USA
What will be the outcome of the twelfth confrontation between the two nations?
The latest, a friendly match at Wembley, ended 3-0 in favor of the English exactly four years ago.
In their head-to-head head-to-head with their big cousins from across the Atlantic, the English lead quite widely: eight wins, one draw and two defeats.
However, the Americans have a favorable record in the strict context of the World Cup: a 1-1 draw in South Africa (2010) and the 1-0 victory in the 1950 edition in Uruguay, passed down to posterity. .
That year, the English had taken the Americans, who were still amateurs, quite high, knowingly leaving their top player Stanley Matthews to rest and offering to leave their opponents three goals ahead, through the voice of their coach. .
Times have changed and the Three Lions are determined to get out of Group B without the slightest misstep, as evidenced by their 6-2 comeback against Iran on Monday.
England seduced offensively with Sterling, Mount, Kane or Saka.
As for Harry Kane, hit in the right ankle against Iran, he is finally able to hold his place this Friday.
But the turmoil aroused by his case highlighted the English dependence on his striker and captain, author of two assists on Monday.
Authentic addiction: Kane, 51 goals in 76 caps, has scored 35% of England's goals in games he has played since making his debut in March 2015.
For their part, Americans believe in their stars.
Absent from the World Cup in Russia (2018), the United States took advantage of this time to rebuild a team.
They made an encouraging start against Wales on Monday (1-1).
Thanks to the goal of Lille Timothy Weah, they returned to the locker room at 1-0 at the break.
After which, the inexperience of many young players led them to back down until conceding the penalty for the equalizer from Gareth Bale at the end of the game.
“We want to show that US football is growing and progressing in the right direction, says Tyler Adams, Leeds midfielder.
(…) Their game suits our strengths well, in a way.
We play very aggressively and we create a lot of transition situations.
We will see if we can make some variations on what we usually do, to capitalize on these transitions.
Player to watch: Mehdi Taremi
With a double against England on Monday, the Iranian attacked the World Cup with a bang, but saw his personal success totally eclipsed by the situation in his country and the catastrophic start of "Team Melli", forced to redeem themselves from this Friday against Wales.
The center-forward of FC Porto, 30, despite his messages of support for the demonstrators posted on social networks, does not escape the waves of criticism, even insults, which fall on "Team Melli", accused by many Iranians of not supporting the protesters enough.
Post game interview
I'm so proud of Mehdi Taremi pic.twitter.com/DV1nd4f0bD
— TeamMelli Madness 🇮🇷 🏟 ⚽️ (@EsamNas41440071) November 22, 2022
His double therefore went somewhat unnoticed but only confirmed his incredible efficiency, already proven since his arrival in Europe in 2019.
“If Taremi had come to Portugal at 24, he would now be with one of the greats in Europe, said Carlos Carvalhal, his coach at Rio Ave, his first club in the Portuguese championship (2019-2020), last summer. ).
He is a player of a very high level and he immediately proved it.
Transferred to Porto after just a year on the Old Continent, Taremi scored 62 times in 115 games with the "Dragoes", in all competitions.
In the Champions League, he already has five goals this season, as many as Haaland and Lewandowski, allowing Porto to qualify for the 1/8th finals.
In 2021, a spectacular acrobatic return against Chelsea earned him a Fifa nomination for the Puskas award for the best goal of the year.
The Welsh have been warned.
The phrase: "He's a boy who has a mind of steel"
Aliou Cissé, the coach of Senegal, beaten 2-0 by the Netherlands for his entry into the World Cup, makes no secret of the delicate situation of his team before Qatar-Senegal on Friday.
“In competitions of this level, from the moment you lose your first match, you have your back against the wall in the second.
But (in) our collective experience, (there are) other matches that we had to play which were at this level of intensity, pressure, importance and requirement.
It's up to us to concentrate and remember everything we've done in the past when we've had our backs against the wall.
The group lives well despite the defeat.
There have been many lessons.
Senegal weren't bad, we stood up to one of the best teams in the world right now, with world-class players.
Cissé includes Edouard Mendy, guilty of a hazardous outing against the Bataves: “He is a boy who has a steely mind.
(...) The qualities of Edouard are not to be doubted.
I know he's going through some tough times, but I have no doubts.
He has my full confidence, the full confidence of his teammates and he will be on the pitch."
The figure: 25%
While sixteen of the 48 group stage matches have been played, four 0-0s have already been recorded, ie exactly a quarter of the matches.
It's a lot.
These are Denmark-Tunisia, Mexico-Poland, Morocco-Croatia and Uruguay-South Korea.