Many will see Group H as being one of the weakest in the competition, but that does not mean we will not witness some very interesting games. One of Europe’s most exciting sides, Belgium are expected to go far at the tournament in Brazil and no doubts they are the favourites for the first position in the group.
Fabio Capello’s Russia may not boast a star-studded squad, but they have a number of quality players in the side and certainly have the potential to surprise. Korea Republic, one of Asia’s best sides, also have high hopes at their fourth successive World Cup, whereas Algeria are seen as the weakest side in the group, but that certainly does not mean they do not have the quality to play at this level.
Winners of Group H
Even if this seems like a pretty evenly matched group, there is one side that stands heads and shoulders above the rest and we are obviously talking about Belgium. The Red Devils have never been this strong as almost entire squad ply their trade at Europe’s top clubs, while boss Marc Wilmots seems to have managed to contain some big egos and create a very homogeneous unit.
The likes of Courtois, Kompany, Hazard and Lukaku may be the biggest stars, but the coach has a plethora of other talented players at his disposal and it appears he is spoilt for choices in almost all areas of the pitch. Having dropped just four points during the qualifying campaign while winning all three warm-up games, the Red Devils look they can win the first place in Group H quite convincingly.
Best Odds to Win Group H
While the big strength in depth should prove a major advantage in the latter stages, Belgium’s strongest line-up can be trusted to win at least two of three group games and secure the best position ahead of the Last 16 stage where they could face either Portugal or Germany.
To Qualify from Group H
Belgium are expected to qualify for the next stage even if they do suffer one slip-up, which is unlikely to happen, but other sides will have to be at their best in every single game if they want to go through. Having suffered some disappointing defeats in warm-up matches, Korea Republic do not seem ready for what awaits them in Brazil, while Algeria are too inexperienced at this level to pip their more illustrious opponents to a place in the next stage.
This leaves Russia as the second team most likely to qualify and there are plenty reasons why we feel this way. One of world’s best coaches Fabio Capello has a very experienced squad at his disposal and some very talented youngsters who have profited a great deal from having a strong domestic competition. And with Russia traditionally very hard to beat, they seem to have a very good chance to reach the Last 16 stage.
Best Odds To Qualify from Group H
With Russia hosting the 2018 World Cup, they will want to do well in Brazil and it is perfectly clear Fabio Capello’s charges can be confident about their chances at the tournament finals, having been producing some very good performances of late.
Group H Match Betting Tips
The round one match between Russia and South Korea could have a big effect on the outcome of the race for the second place in the group, and this is the game where we believe Fabio Capello’s charges will make a decisive step towards the next stage. While Russia look very good at the moment, the Taeguk Warriors appear to have never been weaker, with four defeats in last five matches and the fact star forward Park Chu-Young lacks match practise enough to suggest Korea cannot hope for a bright start to the tournament.
Group H Team to Concede Most Goals
We do expect to see either Korea Republic or Algeria finish at the bottom of the group, but the Taeguk Warriors are unlikely to concede most goals as the entire team work hard during the defensive phase and they are likely to lose their games by the narrowest of margins. Meanwhile, the African side boast a very good midfield and attack, but they are not as strong at the back and their inexperience at the biggest stage is probably going to cause a fair number of defensive mistakes at the tournament finals.
Both Teams to Score Match Tips
While first round matches rarely produce too many goals, we fully expect the Belgium v Algeria game to be an exception to the rule. The Red Devils should have no problems scoring even if Romelu Lukaku fails to recover in time, as the likes of Hazard, Mertens and Mirallas are likely to prove very difficult to contain. On the other hand, Marc Wilmots will have four centre-backs occupying the places in the back four and this is something the likes of Feghouli and Soudani will be looking to exploit. Therefore, we can expect both teams to score but Belgium should ultimately prevail.