FIFA World Cup 2022 Preview Part Eight – Group H

By Ian John
November 16, 2022

We’ve reached the final part of our eight-part series previewing all of the eight groups that will be the focus of the opening phase of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

In this article, we are focusing on the four teams participating in Group H, but if you’d like a recap on any of the other groups in the tournament, then you can follow the links to our preview articles on the other groups below:

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Finally, we reach the last group of our countdown by checking out the four teams that will be facing off to qualify from Group H.

Group H

  • Portugal
  • Ghana
  • Uruguay
  • South Korea

Looking at this group, I do feel this is one of the groups that has the most possibility for an upset, though that is not saying that there will be one. Both Ghana and South Korea are capable of upsetting the status quo in this group, although I feel that their chances may be better against Uruguay than against Portugal to be honest.

The Portuguese have a very strong squad with great strength in depth in the forward and midfield positions, plus top quality full backs and a strong central defensive pairing. The only query I have is with the goalkeeper position.

Uruguay are a vastly experienced squad who are here for one last hurrah as a group and I can see them wanting to make an impact in this tournament. I do feel that given the age of a number of key men in the squad, the schedule of 3 games in 8 days may be one that tells eventually at some stage of the tournament.

Both Ghana and South Korea have solid teams, excellent defensively and with some talented attackers, but they are going to have to perform above expectations to challenge the top two in this group.

Group H Fixtures

  • 24th Nov – Uruguay v South Korea – Education City Stadium (1pm)
  • 24th Nov – Portugal v Ghana – Stadium 974 (4pm)
  • 28th Nov – South Korea v Ghana – Education City Stadium (1pm)
  • 28th Nov – Portugal v Uruguay – Lusail Iconic Stadium (7pm)
  • 2nd Dec – Ghana v Uruguay – Al Janoub Stadium (3pm)
  • 2nd Dec – South Korea v Portugal – Education City Stadium (3pm)

Group H Team Previews

Portugal

  • Manager – Fernando Santos
  • Captain – Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Best World Cup Performance – Third
  • World Cup 2018 Performance – Round of 16
  • Current FIFA Ranking – 9th
  • Current Form (Last 5 games) – WWLWL

Portugal’s Best XI – (4-2-3-1) – Costa (GK), Dalot (DR), Rui (DL), Pereira (DC), Ruben Dias (DC), Neves (MC), Carvalho (MC), Silva.B (AMR), R.Leao (AML), Fernandes (AMC), Ronaldo (AC)

Fernando Santos team are very experienced in these major competitions and having lifted the European Championships and the Nations League in recent times, they are also not averse to picking up trophies too.

Obviously Cristiano Ronaldo is the main man, despite his troubles at club level, and he is backed up by a plethora of attacking talent which includes Goncalo Guedes, Andre Silva, Bernardo Silva, Otavio, Rafael Leao, Joao Felix and Bruno Fernandes.

Portugal have long been a solid defensive unit and Ruben Dias, Nuno Mendes, Nuno Mendes and Joao Cancelo will provide them with great quality here too.

The main issue Portugal have has been sustaining form over a period in a World Cup but if they can do that here then they should not only win this group, but they’ll be dark horses for the tournament too.

Ghana

  • Manager – Otto Addo
  • Captain – Andre Ayew
  • Best World Cup Performance – Quarter Finals
  • World Cup 2018 Performance – N/A – Did not qualify
  • Current FIFA Ranking – 61st
  • Current Form (Last 5 games) – LdLLW

Ghana’s Best XI – (4-1-4-1) – Wollacott (GK), Odoi (DR), Rahman (DL), Djiku (DC), Amartey (DC), Baba (DMC), Sulemana (AMR), Ayew.J (MC), Ayew.A (MC), Kudus (AML), Williams (AC)

Otto Addo’s squad carry the hopes of an expectant nation into this World Cup but they are also aware that their nemesis, Brazil, who have knocked them out of both the last two World Cups they have appeared at, could lie in wait in the Knockout Phase.

That has put added pressure on Ghana to try and win this group and in truth, I cannot see that. While this is a talented team with some very talented players, Kudus and Williams cartch the eye, while the Ayew brothers remain the anchors of the team, I do feel this Ghana team is not as strong as some of their previous.

As such, I think they could struggle, certainly against Portugal and while they can give Uruguay and South Korea problems, they’d likely need six points from those games to qualify and I just can’t see them doing that to be honest.

Uruguay

  • Manager – Diego Alonso
  • Captain – Diego Godin
  • Best World Cup Performance – 2x Winners (1930, 1950)
  • World Cup 2018 Performance – Quarter Finals
  • Current FIFA Ranking – 14th
  • Current Form (Last 5 games) – WdWLW

Uruguay’s Best XI – (4-4-2) – Muslera (GK), Varela (DR), Olivera (DL), Gimenez (DC), Godin (DC), Betancur (MC),  Valverde (MC), De La Cruz (ML), Pellestri (MR), Suarez.L (AC), Nunez.D (AC)

This may be the final time we see Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Diego Godin at a World Cup for Uruguay as the trio may well be set to move on from the national team given their advancing years, but you can bet they will be primed to go out on a high with a team they have represented with distinction over the years.

Uruguay will certainly need them to be on form as there is no doubt that while they have an exciting crop of youngsters in the likes of Darwin Nunez, Rodrigo Betancur and Francesco Valverde, they are not yet of the calibre of the stars that may be playing their last few games for their country.

Whether or not Uruguay can make it out of the group phase depends very much on these experienced players and my gut feeling is that there is still enough quality for them to make it out of this group, although they could find playing 3 games in 8 days very tough physically.

South Korea

  • Manager – Paulo Bento
  • Captain – Son Heung-min
  • Best World Cup Performance – Fourth
  • World Cup 2018 Performance – Group Stage
  • Current FIFA Ranking – 28th
  • Current Form (Last 5 games) – WWLDW

South Korea’s Best XI – (4-4-1-1) – S.Kim (GK), M.H.Kim (DR), J.Kim (DL), K.Kwon (DC), M.Kim (DC), J.Lee (MR), H.Hwang (ML), I.Hwang (MC), J.Son (MC), W.Y.Jeong (AMC), H.Son (AC)

There’s one thing that has dominated the focus for South Korea fans ahead of the World Cup and that is the fitness of Tottenham Hotspurs Son Hyeong-min. The striker fractured an eye socket recently and was rumoured to be set to miss the World Cup, however he has made the squad, though how much he will be able to play remains to be seen.

He is certainly a doubt for their opener and that is a huge blow for Korea whose main attacking hopes tend to run through Son and I think his absence even in the first game, may be too much for the team to overcome.

Don’t get me wrong, Korea are a solid side with a well organised team who have amongst the best work ethics in the tournament, but Son provided that extra flair and goalscoring threat a team needs to spring a surprise and even if he is fit to play, he may not be 100% and that I think scuppers their hopes.

Group G Prediction & Tips

  1. Portugal– (11/10 to win the group)
  2. Uruguay – (To Qualify – 1/2)
  3. Ghana
  4. South Korea

We’ve now reached the end of our Group Stage preview and with the first game due to be played on Sunday, now is a fantastic time to run the rule over the latest betting for the tournament to get your bets on.

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