The USMNT will face off against Iran on Tuesday afternoon needing a win to advance to the Round of 16 in the 2022 World Cup. USA has drawn their first two matches in Group B, tying Wales 1-1 before battling to a goalless stalemate against England resulting in a 0-0 draw. But with the way the standings work, USA now has to beat Iran in order to advance out of the group stage.

Despite their inability to pick up a win, the USMNT has looked good in their first two contests of the tournament. They very nearly pulled out a win against Wales, and battled with an England team that was heavily favored to destroy them. But they will have to find a way to win against Iran if they intend on moving onto the Round of 16.

Iran has had an interesting tournament, as they got destroyed by England to kick things off before beating Wales to currently put themselves in the pole position to move onto the next stage of the tournament. So with kick off nearing for this contest, let’s take a look at three bold predictions for the action and see what could be expected to happen in this game.

3. Giovanni Reyna will start for the USMNT and pick up an assist

For the most part, Gregg Berhalter’s lineups haven’t been too out of the ordinary for the USMNT, but it’s been confusing to see Giovanni Reyna get used so sparingly in the first two contests. Reyna didn’t even take the field against Wales, and while he was subbed on against England, he barely got 10 minutes of action.

Reyna is one of USA’s best players, and his creativity in the midfield could help open things up for a team that has scored just one goal through two games so far in the tournament. The Americans are going to have to come out with an attacking mentality in this game, because they need to win. Assuming England beats or ties Wales, Iran will likely be content with a draw in this game.

It feels like this game is the perfect time to add Reyna to the starting lineup with the USMNT needing a spark of creativity. Look for Reyna to not just start this game, but also make a big impact and pick up an assist along the way. Reyna’s ability to make things happen for America when he finds himself on the pitch is going to be critical, and could determine whether or not USA picks up the win they need in this contest.

2. Christian Pulisic will be Man of the Match after scoring a goal and assisting another

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It’s no secret that Christian Pulisic is the star leading the USMNT, and after an uneven performance against Wales, Pulisic was a madman against England. He was at the center of every positive attack USA put together, and very nearly scored what would have been a game-winning goal when he struck the crossbar with a vicious left-footed effort.

Against an Iran team that does not have the defensive capabilities that England did, Pulisic should be in line for another big game. Allowing him to play in a free-roaming creative role on the left side of the field behind Timothy Weah and Haji Wright in a 4-4-2 worked much better than sticking him in the same spot out of a 4-3-3, and Berhalter should implement a similar strategy against Iran.

Adding Reyna to the lineup would certainly help take the creative burden off of Pulisic’s shoulders, and in this game, it will give Pulisic the freedom to control the proceedings. He will link up with Reyna for America’s first goal before handing out an assist to Weah to help power the USMNT to the Round of 16, while also winning the Man of the Match award for his contributions in this one as well.

1. The USMNT will beat Iran 3-1 to advance to the Round of 16

The differing mentalities between USA and Iran could make this game a tough one for America to win. Iran will likely only need a draw to advance to the Round of 16, and they could play a conservative, defensive minded approach in an attempt to prevent the USMNT from scoring. The Americans are going to have to attack from the get go, as they cannot allow Iran to exert their control over this game.

USA is going to have to press an Iran defense that isn’t as strong as England’s, and Pulisic will break through early thanks to some strong link up play with Reyna. The Americans will hold a 1-0 lead heading into halftime, before Pulisic springs Weah with a beautiful through ball that sees him score his second goal of the tournament.

Mehdi Taremi will score a goal in the 72nd minute to add some suspense to the contest, but USA will get an unlikely spark from Jesús Ferreira off the bench to restore the two-goal lead just six minutes later, and the 3-1 score will hold until the conclusion of the game. The USMNT has the firepower to beat Iran, and if they come out and play their game, they will prevail and move onto the Round of 16.