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Group H Predictions > Nov 24th - Dec 2nd


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Group H is undoubtedly the group that is the toughest to predict. The bookies have Portugal has firm favourites to top the group but there's very little separating Uruguay, Ghana, and South Korea when it comes to who will qualify from this group. That is even harder to call now Son Heung-min's fitness for the tournament is in doubt. Tell us who you think is progressing to the last 16 here!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Uruguay

It seems very strange that we're doing a World Cup preview for Uruguay and Oscar Tabarez isn't their head coach having occupied the position for 15 years. The veteran gaffer parted ways with the national team back in 2021 and was replaced by Diego Alonso. He secured qualification for this tournament with 4 wins from his first 4 games in the role but is now charged with blooding in the youngsters and overseeing a change of the guard as the likes of Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani, and Diego Godin enter their final years as players. This is a last-chance saloon for those iconic stars that have delivered so many fond memories for Uruguayans down the years (not so much for Ghanaians mind!). Just 1 loss from their 9 matches in 2022 puts them in solid form for this competition but that solitary defeat was a disappointing 1-0 loss to Iran back in September. It's an interesting squad for Uruguay though. The above-mentioned old timers still have the motivation to succeed but younger players such as Ronald Araujo, Rodrigo Bentancur, Federico Valverde, and Darwin Nunez are the players that could make the difference. I think the only problem they have is that they need to win this group to avoid a potentially tricky last 16 game. I'm not sure they have enough to pull that off.

Odds to Win World Cup: 40/1

Odds to Qualify from Group: 2/5

My Prediction: Last 16

 

South Korea

What can be said about South Korea? Without sounding disrespectful, they are basically here to make up the numbers. That is more the case now that main star Son Heung-min has been hampered by his injury so he won't be 100% fit. There is a smattering of decent players in the squad such as Lee Jae-sung, Hwang Hee-chan, and Lee Kang-in. However, the defence is likely to be the big weak area with an over-reliance on Napoli's Kim Min-jae with the rest of the back-line limited to playing their football in the K-League or J-League. The run to the semi-finals back in 2002 seems like a lifetime ago and back-to-back group stage exits at the past two World Cup tournaments have met their restricted expectations. Their 2018 campaign did end on a high though with the shock 2-0 win over reigning champions Germany in their final group game. Paulo Bento has been in charge for a number of years now but there's criticism that his tactics don't bring the best out of the players and it's simply a case of whether or not South Korea can avoid finishing bottom or not.

Odds to Win World Cup: 250/1

Odds to Qualify from Group: 9/4

My Prediction: Group Stage

 

Portugal

If there is one team that could really cause chaos in this tournament for the favourites then it's Portugal. Cristiano Ronaldo inspired his national team to a 2016 European Championship success but the squad haven't been able to build on that trophy win with a last 16 exit at the 2018 World Cup followed by a last 16 elimination at the 2020 European Championship. Fernando Santos will want to end his tenure as head coach on a high but he's received criticism for playing too cautiously and conservatively given the riches of attacking talents at his disposal. This saw the team struggle to qualify for this tournament having to go through the play-offs after being pipped to top spot in their group by Serbia. Failure to reach the UEFA Nations League Finals has also hit morale. This remains a squad packed with world class players though. A potential back four of Nuno Mendes, Joao Cancelo, Pep, and Ruben Dias is up there with the best in world football. The midfield and attack is full of big name players including Cristiano Ronaldo, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, William Carvalho, Ruben Neves, and many more. If Santos can get these players purring then they can beat any one. Unfortunately, it feels like the reign of Santos has become stale and we won't see the best of this group. I still think they stand every chance of a run to the Quarter-Finals though.

Odds to Win World Cup: 14/1

Odds to Qualify from Group: 1/5

My Prediction: Quarter-Finals

 

Ghana

Another African team that are being written off before the tournament has even started is Ghana. It's crazy to think that a nation that has produced so many brilliant players down the years didn't qualify for their first World Cup until 2006. Their journey peaked with a run to the Quarter-Finals in 2010 but since then it's been a slow demise. After missing out on the 2018 World Cup entirely, the Black Stars are back but hopes aren't exactly sky high. Head coach Otto Addo defied the odds by leading the team to the World Cup after a win on away goals after a 1-1 draw on aggregate with much-fancied Nigeria. Believe it or not, the Ayew brothers of Andre and Jordan are still going! That just about sums up the problems with Ghana though. They are still relying on those same old names. The defence is capable enough with the likes of Mohammed Salisu, Tarique Lamptey, and Daniel Amartey being familiar with fans of the Premier League. Thomas Partey and Mohammed Kudus offer some quality in midfield but there is a distinct lack of goals in this team. None of the six attacking players selected for this squad have scored more than 1 goal at international level. Ghana did raise some eyebrows beating Switzerland 2-0 in a pre-tournament friendly last week but I'm afraid anything other than a bottom spot finish in this group feels too much to ask.

Odds to Win World Cup: 350/1

Odds to Qualify from Group: 3/1

My Prediction: Group Stage

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Uruguay/South Korea Draw @3.60

Uruguay in the World Cup always tends to be a cagey affair. This is a rematch from the R16 back in South Africa won 2-1 by Uruguay with a late stunner from Suarez. Amazingly several of Uruguay's players from that match may start tomorrow with Muslera, Caceres, Godin and Suarez. Uruguay have a strong squad from top to bottom. Experienced defenders along with a strong workman like midfield. The midfield does lack diversity, Bentancur, Valverder and Vecino are similar players. Can they carve out enough creativity from an ageing Suarez and De la Cruz? South Korea meanwhile have quality down the middle of defense with Kim Min-Jae who has outperformed the departed Koulibaly at Napoli. Son is always capable of something especially in a tournament where you only need a few moments of quality.

Both teams will play this close to the vest, Uruguay typically understand how to navigate these groups. They will want to put themselves in a position to progress vs Ghana on matchday 3. South Korea will also be content with a draw, knowing they could put themselves in a prime position with a win vs Ghana.

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I feel that this is the group that is the most wide open. Portugal are probably slight favourites but they're always prone to making hard work of the group stages before growing into the tournament. Uruguay also have that tournament experience. South Korea and Ghana are the slight underdogs but we've seen already how much of a surprise the hugely unfancied teams can have so I wouldn't be surprised if we saw two very tight games here.

Uruguay vs South Korea (Thursday, 1pm GMT)

Draw @ 13/5 with BetUK

Total Goals Scored Under 2.5 @ 11/17 with VBet

Portugal vs Ghana (Thursday, 4pm GMT)

Portugal to Win to Nil @ 11/10 with Paddy Power

Anytime Scorer: Cristiano Ronaldo @ 6/5 with Boylesports

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Portugal vs Ghana

Portugal had to come through the playoffs, and this has resulted in a long journey for the European champions. The main focus on Portugal will undoubtedly be on Christian Ronaldo. Even if the domestic form of the Manchester United superstar has been mixed, he has frequently delivered goods for the national team cannot be argued. The numbers are impressive for the 37-year-old, with 191 caps and 117 goals, and with this likely to be his last World Cup, we expect the Portuguese star to go out with a bang. However, A Seleção should avoid any signs of complacency. They've lost twice in the last four matches but were confident against Nigeria in their final check before the tournament.

Ghana plays a very competitive brand of football that does not place emphasis on an individual player. Unlike in the past few years, Ghana does not have a star-studded squad. The national team was able to advance from the African qualification group by slender margins. The team may not have a lot of expectations coming into the World Cup after having failed to reach the 2018 edition while also failing to get past the group stage in 2014. Still, the likes of the Ayew brothers, Partey, Amartey, and Rahman, will be looking to help guide this young side to a respectable finish. The Black Stars had a successful check ahead of the World Cup 2022 by beating a respectable Switzerland side 2-0.

Full-Time Winner Odds & Prediction                                                                            

Ghana is a pretty disciplined team, and despite being favorites, Portugal won't have an easy job. Therefore, we don't think the African team will lose by more than one goal.

Goals Market Prediction

Although BTTS No cashed in the last three Ghana's and five Portugal's games, we expect an entertaining match. The crowd should enjoy goals in both nets, and the odds are pretty attractive.

Ghana AH +1.5 @ 1.75

BTTS Yes @ 2.30

Correct score 2:1 @ 9.00

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7 hours ago, StevieDay1983 said:

I feel that this is the group that is the most wide open. Portugal are probably slight favourites but they're always prone to making hard work of the group stages before growing into the tournament. Uruguay also have that tournament experience. South Korea and Ghana are the slight underdogs but we've seen already how much of a surprise the hugely unfancied teams can have so I wouldn't be surprised if we saw two very tight games here.

Uruguay vs South Korea (Thursday, 1pm GMT)

Draw @ 13/5 with BetUK

Total Goals Scored Under 2.5 @ 11/17 with VBet

Portugal vs Ghana (Thursday, 4pm GMT)

Portugal to Win to Nil @ 11/10 with Paddy Power

Anytime Scorer: Cristiano Ronaldo @ 6/5 with Boylesports

It was a great prediction for the match uruuay vs S. Korea.  I followed you. I hope you will be on targetalso for Portugal !!!!!

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5 minutes ago, george44 said:

It was a great prediction for the match uruuay vs S. Korea.  I followed you. I hope you will be on targetalso for Portugal !!!!!

I'm beginning to hope that the big man @harry_rag has put an obscene wager down on the number of 0-0 draws set to be played out at this tournament! :lol Glad you're on board, @george44! Don't hold back in telling us your thoughts on the games too. Here's to seeing Cristiano doing his trademark celebration!

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Portugal vs Uruguay

Portugal has struggled in recent World Cup tournaments and has failed to make it further than the first knockout round in the last twelve years. Os Navegadores have plenty of talent currently performing at top European clubs in the Champions League. This set of players has yet to show their best form at an international tournament, but it is unlikely to be long before they are once again competing for major titles. However, their display in the tournament opener wasn't promising. A questionable penalty helped them to crack Ghana's defense, but the Black Stars refused to surrender. Nevertheless, Portugal luckily booked a 3-2 win to climb the standings to the top spot.

The Uruguayans have a rich history at the World Cup and were twice Champions back in the earlier editions of the tournament. Unfortunately, recent success has been hard to come by, but they finished in fourth place in 2010 when losing to the Netherlands in the semi-final stage. La Celeste faced South Korea in the opening game in this tournament, but they couldn't do more than a goalless draw. Despite hitting the woodwork twice, Luis Suarez and the lads failed to break the Asian team's backline. They will have a much tougher task now, but the Uruguayan side shouldn't be underestimated at all.

Full-Time Winner Odds & Prediction                                                                            

Portugal didn't impress in the previous match, and if they show a similar performance, it will be hard for them to win. Uruguay is a quality team that could get out of this encounter undefeated. They showed that four years ago after beating Portugal in the first knockout round.

Goals Market Prediction

It is going to be a tight encounter, as the South American side has a pretty disciplined defense. Both teams will be cautious, and we don't expect to see more than two goals in this match.

Uruguay AH +0.5 @ 1.95

Under 2.5 FT @ 1.75

Correct score 1:1 @ 6.60

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It's all still to play for in Group H with a couple of intriguing fixtures coming up on Monday. South Korea and Ghana both know they realistically need a win to keep their hopes of a last 16 spot alive. Defeat would make it very hard, perhaps even impossible depending on other results, so I think we could see a nervy first half with things opening up in the second half depending on what the result is by that time. I felt Ghana were desperately unlucky against Portugal in that opening group game but, like Cameroon in Group G, it was a case of an African side showing lots of fight and determination but lacking the cutting edge. South Korea did well to hold Uruguay to a draw in their opening game but it was a thoroughly uninspiring game so I'm still unsure which version of Paulo Bento's team we'll see here. Then there's Portugal versus Uruguay. Too very finely matched teams but I think the superior technical quality of Portugal could see them sneak a narrow win. It'll be tight though and even as I'm saying it I am still wondering whether I should back the draw! :lol

South Korea vs Ghana (Monday, 1pm GMT)

Draw @ 21/10 with Bet365

BTTS @ 11/10 with Betfair

Portugal vs Uruguay (Monday, 7pm GMT)

Portugal to Win @ Evens with BetUK

Total Goals Scored Under 2.5 @ 8/13 with SpreadEx

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