November 17, 2022 12:06 AM
Alex Lawes

2022 FIFA World Cup Predictions: Group H

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FIFA ranking: 9

FIFA World Cup appearances: Eighth Entry

FIFA World Cup best: Third (1966)

Manager: Fernando Santos

Captain: Cristiano Ronaldo

With a star-studded squad, Portugal should be one of the favourites for the tournament. Throughout the squad, there is elite level talent. From Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo at the back to their array of attacking talent, namely: Cristiano Ronaldo, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, Rafael Leao and Joao Felix to name but a few.

However, there are some major concerns surrounding the side. The obvious sideshow and distraction caused by Cristiano Ronaldo’s interview may not affect the team in any way but it cannot be remotely helpful. That is an off-the-pitch Ronaldo issue but on-the-pitch, frankly, they look better.

Their 1-1 draw with Spain, in Spain, during the summer in the UEFA Nations League was a Ronaldo-less side that performed quickly with slick patterns of play – something seemingly not necessarily feasible with Ronaldo in the side.

They have remained unconvincing throughout Fernando Santos’ reign and, yet, have somehow won two international trophies in the last six and a half years. They needed the playoffs to reach this tournament and come into this on the back of a 1-0 defeat at home to Spain in September making it five wins in ten matches.

Those four victories have been a playoff semi-final win against Turkey and playoff final win against North Macedonia before doing the double over the Czech Republic in the UEFA Nations League and a win against Switzerland.

TSZ Prediction: Round of 16


FIFA ranking: 61

FIFA World Cup appearances: Fourth Entry

FIFA World Cup best: Quarter-finals (2010)

Manager: Otto Addo

Captain: Andre Ayew

Since their first ever FIFA World Cup qualification in 2006, Ghana have qualified for all but one of the following FIFA World Cups. They have made it to this one very much against the odds, too.

After a fortunate group stage campaign where they controversially finished above South Africa, the Ghanaians had a shocking AFCON at the start of this year before pulling off a major shock to defeat their rivals Nigeria in March.

Under the management of Otto Addo and Technical Directorship of Chris Hughton, Ghana have been able to lure some dual nationals to The Black Stars. Inaki Williams and Tariq Lamptey have committed with others reportedly set to when they can. Other players, such as Mohammed Salisu, have been tempted into re-joining the national side.

Despite the improvement in personnel and slight up-turn in results, they face a very difficult group and an early exit remains very likely.

TSZ Prediction: Group stage


FIFA ranking: 14

FIFA World Cup appearances: 14th Entry

FIFA World Cup best: Winners (1930, 1950)

Manager: Diego Alonso

Captain: Diego Godin

At the end of 2021, a difficult decision had to be made by La Celeste and that was for their legendary manager, Oscar Tabarez, to be let go and relieved of his duties. Tabarez managed Uruguay between 1988 and 1990 and then again from 2006 all the way through until the end of last year.

His successor, Diego Alonso, has performed very well, though. With the two-time FIFA World Cup winners in trouble during CONMEBOL qualification, the former Inter Miami boss steadied the ship and led them to a comfortable top four finish.

Since then, they have had some mixed results but have remained relatively impressive with a very exciting new generation beginning to complement the old.

The old being the likes of Fernando Muslera, Diego Godin, Martin Caceres, Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez remaining in the squad. The new being Ronald Araujo, Fede Valverde, Rodrigo Bentancur and Darwin Nunez set to establish themselves as an impressive core and spine for the Uruguayans.

Uruguay are a strong side and will fancy their chances of finishing top of the group ahead of a potentially distracted and under-par Portuguese side.

TSZ Prediction: Quarter-finals


FIFA ranking: 28

FIFA World Cup appearances: Tenth Entry

FIFA World Cup best: Fourth (2002)

Manager: Paulo Bento

Captain: Son Heung-min

South Korea head into the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar on the back of scare in the closing weeks of the first part of the club campaign. Their star man and skipper, Son, suffered a facial injury which has, fortunately, not been severe enough to rule the out-of-form Spurs man out of the tournament.

This is perhaps not the best generation of South Koreans with the 2002 to 2010 period boasting squads of players with a bit more pedigree, especially in Europe’s major leagues. For example, Paulo Bento’s 26-man squad consists of just eight players playing club football in Europe.

Despite that, though, they do have a clear plan and a cohesive manner in which to achieve that plan which revolves around being tight and relying on individual brilliance from the aforementioned Son. As cliché’d as that may indeed seem.

Their most recent outing was a slender 1-0 win over Iceland last week and that does mean they are unbeaten in their last six ‘proper’ matches, not including the much-changed squad that competed in the EAFF Championship during the summer.

TSZ Prediction: Group stage

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