World Cup 2022 Group H Betting Preview: Expert analysis from the Betfair Traders

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo
Portugal legend Cristiano Ronaldo is seeking World Cup glory

Portugal and Uruguay are clear favourites to qualify from Group H but will it go how punters expect? Betfair traders Mark Curley and Brian McDonnell have team previews, key players, odds and tips...

Group H - To Qualify

  • Portugal - 1/10
  • Uruguay - 2/5
  • South Korea - 5/2
  • Ghana - 13/5

Portugal

Preview by Mark Curley

To Win the 2022 World Cup: 14/1
To Win Group H: 8/13
2018 Performance: Round of 16
Best World Cup Finish: Third Place 1966

Team Profile

Portugal have some of the world's best players, but you have to go back to 2006 for the last time they got past the round of 16 at the World Cup. They had to take the long route to Qatar, putting away Turkey 3-1 in the qualification play-off semi-finals before a comfortable 2-0 win against North Macedonia secured their place.

Manager Fernando Santos has been in charge since 2014 and steered Portugal to victory at Euro 2016. Although the next tournaments in charge haven't gone to plan for Santos, he brings close to 35 years of managerial experience, so nobody can question his ability to get the team ready for a big occasion.

The Squad & Key Player

Portugal will play 4-3-3. Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias, Bruno Fernandes, Diogo Jota, Bernardo Silva and Cristiano Ronaldo are just some of the stars in a squad that boasts so much depth that injuries shouldn't be much of a problem. They can afford to rest some of their key players if the time is right.

1280 Joao Cancelo Portugal 2022.jpg

At 37, a lot of people will have their doubts about Cristiano Ronaldo coming into this tournament. He hasn't started many games for Manchester United this season. But nobody can deny that the six-time Ballon d'Or winner is one of the greatest players ever and he is still Portugal's key man. With this strong team around him, Ronaldo will be in his element in Qatar.

Tournament Prospects

Portugal will have very high hopes of winning the group. If all goes to plan for the Portuguese, they will face Serbia or Switzerland in the round of 16. Although they have lost to both of those sides in recent months, Portugal would be confident that their class would tell here. In terms of tournament prospects, Portugal will be disappointed with anything less than reaching the quarter-finals.

How to Bet on Portugal at the World Cup

Back Portugal to Reach Quarter Finals @ 10/11

Portugal definitely don't have the toughest of groups at the World Cup. I really like the look of their to reach the quarter final price, as they should enter the knockout stages full of confidence after three wins. If they build that early momentum they will be tough to stop.


Uruguay

Preview by Mark Curley

To Win the 2022 World Cup: 50/1
To Win Group H: 21/10
2018 Performance: Quarter-Finals
Best World Cup Finish: Winners 1930, 1950

Team Profile

The first ever World Cup winners will be making their 14th appearance at the finals. Uruguay will fancy their chances of at least making it out of the group. They have reached the knockout stages in the past three tournaments and I can't see why they will not make it four on the bounce.

The manager Diego Alonso will be one of the more inexperienced in Qatar the early signs are promising. He took charge last December, when things were looking bad for Uruguay. They had lost four World Cup qualifiers in a row, but once he took over, they won their four remaining matches to secure qualification, only conceding one goal. Since qualifying, they have played five friendly matches, winning three, drawing one and losing one.

The Squad & Key Player

Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Darwin Nunez will all be in the squad, so Alonso will have the choice of starting one, two or all three in attack. Uruguay don't just have strength up top, however, with Federico Valverde and Rodrigo Bentancur making up a strong midfield. Both players are regular starters with Champions League experience this season so will certainly be first on the teamsheet come the start of this tournament.

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Jose Gimenez and Ronald Araujo will both be fighting to start in defence, with old boy Diego Godin taking part in his final World Cup

The key man is Rodrigo Bentancur. If Uruguay are to reach the latter stages of this year's World Cup, they are going to need a strong midfield and Bentancur is the man for that. He's made great strides at Tottenham and his form seems to be carrying over to his international career.

Tournament Prospects

Uruguay should beat both Ghana and South Korea and the group may well come down to their clash with Portugal for the top spot. Uruguay have a strong enough squad to test Portugual. There's a good chance that Uruguay will meet Brazil in the round of 16. Alonso's men would treat that match like a final.

How to bet on Uruguay at the World Cup

Back Uruguay to go unbeaten in Group H

Uruguay will fancy their chances of beating South Korea and Ghana in Group H and they have enough talent to avoid defeat against the Portuguese. That would see them go through with seven points which would be a good platform to build on.


Ghana

Preview by Mark Curley

To Win the 2022 World Cup: 300/1
To Win Group H: 10/1
2018 Performance: Did Not Qualify
Best World Cup Finish: Quarter-Finals 2010

Team Profile

This is Ghana's fourth World Cup following a dominant campaign in the African Qualifiers. They had the tough task of facing Nigeria in the play-offs and came through the two-legged tie thanks to a goal from Arsenal's Thomas Partey

Manager Otto Addo was given the job on an interim basis in before their play-off match against Nigeria. This is his first managerial role so it's difficult to know what Ghana will be expected to achieve under the 47-year-old German born Ghanaian.

The Squad & Key Player

Over the past few months, Ghana have recruit Inaki Williams (Athletic Bilbao), Mohammed Salisu (Southampton) and Tariq Lamptey (Brighton) to join the likes of Partey, the Ayew brothers - Andre and Jordan - and Mohammed Kudus. Ghana will not be short of experience and have plenty of match winners in the squad. In terms of a perfect formation, it's hard to be sure what Addo will decide on, but 4-2-3-1 or 4-2-3-1 are leading options.

Thomas Partey is the key player and is really starting to show what he has to offer for Arsenal and Ghana. He will have a massive role in midfield and will play a crucial role in determining how Ghana perform. He'll be the first name on the team sheet for Addo this winter.

Tournament Prospects

Coming up against Portugal, Uruguay and South Korea in Group H, Ghana will be prepared to throw everything on the line here and will be hoping to sneak through. Of course, the clash against Uruguay is going to be an incredible watch, with the controversial defeat to Luiz Suarez and co. in 2010 still a potential spur for Ghana.

How to be on Ghana at the World Cup

Back Ghana to beat South Korea @ 19/10

With the experience in Ghana's squad, they have a great chance of taking a result out of their group match against South Korea.

Son Heung-Min will be the main man for South Korea, but with the likes of Partey, Salisu Mohammed and Daniel Amartey all used to coming up against Son in the Premier League, Ghana may be able to keep him quiet. Do that and they will be well on their way in securing a win.


South Korea

Preview by Brian McDonnell

To Win the 2022 World Cup: 300/1
To Win Group H: 9/1
2018 Performance: Group Stage
Best World Cup Finish: Fourth Place 2002

Team Profile

This is the 12th time South Korea have reached the World Cup finals. They've had mixed fortunes since reaching the semi-finals as joint-hosts 20 years ago, failing to get out of the group in their last two attempts. In qualifying for Qatar 2022, South Korea finished second in Asian Qualification group A, winning seven of their 10 games and losing just once.

Manager Paulo Bento is Portuguese and so are most of his staff. He managed Sporting Lisbon for five years and, at Euro 2012, took Portugal to the semi-finals. South Korea play Portugal in their final group game.

The Squad & Key Player

Around two thirds of the South Korea squad ply their club trade in Asia with just eight players in their most recent international squad playing in Europe. Tottenham's Son Heung-Min is of course the most well-known, but they also have Hee-Chan Hwang of Wolves. Hwang has had a difficult start to the season with struggling Wolves. He has nine international goals in 49 appearances and is likely to line up alongside Son in the forward line.

Historically, South Korea generally looked to park the bus to try and nullify superior teams, but they have changed their style in recent years, trying to build out from the back and play more progressive football. In June, however, they conceded possession far too many times around their own box when Brazil beat them 5-1 in a friendly.

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Son is captain and key man. He has 35 goals in 104 appearances for his country and will be the focal point of the team. After a slow start to the season, Son scored a hat-trick against Leicester to get his season going before scoring a couple of goals during the international break. The South Korean faithful will be hoping he can continue that rich vein of form.

Tournament Prospects

Getting out of this group would be considered a success and the Koreans are priced at 5/2 to reach the last 16. South Korea have it in them to cause an upset against Portugal or Uruguay, so it's not a foregone conclusion that Korea won't progress.

To qualify they would need to take at least a point off either of those two teams, beat Ghana and hope results elsewhere go their way. If they are to qualify it'll likely be in second place which would set up a tie against Brazil.

How to Bet on South Korea at the World Cup

Back South Korea to beat Ghana @ 7/5

I'm opposing Mark here who fancies Ghana to beat South Korea. I'm of the opposit opinion.

If South Korea are to have any hope of progressing their match day two clash against Ghana is a must win. They have the quality in their squad to beat the Ghanian team.

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