FIFA World Cup Soccer 2014 Group H Pick and Preview
Tuesday 17th June 2012 17:00(GMT)
The Line: Belgium 1/2 Russia 2/1 South Korea 8/1 Algeria 50/1 See the Latest Odds
TV: BBC; UTV:Fox Sports:ESPN; RTE
Star Man: Nabil Bentalab
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Manager: Vahid Halilhodzic
Algeria come into this world cup with a young side and coached by ex PSG boss Vahid Halilhodzic who will be looking for his young starlets Tottenham Hotspurs Nabil Bentalab and Inter Milans Tadir to inspirse their country to victory in what appears an open group. Expectations for qualification for the minnows will be somewhat muted though with Belgium and Russia in particular bringing star studded squads to these finals. I think that Algeria will find themselves outclassed in this Group and a Group Exit beckons for the North Africans.
Prediction for Group: Group Exit
Star Man: Eden Hazard
Manager: Marc Wilmots
Possibly the most talented squad Belgium have ever had will go into this tournament with a wave of expectation from home. This may in fact be the strongest squad of any team in the tournament. Athletico Madrid's Thibaut Courtois will be very hard to beat in goal and captain Vincent Kompany of Manchester City will marshall a backline that only conceded five goals in ten qualification games. Through the middle of midfield Chelsea's Eden Hazard and Zenit's Alex Witsel will provide the guile and inspiration allowed by the tough tackling of Tottenham's Dembele and Manchester United's Marouanne Fellaini. Up front Everton pair Mirallas and Lukaku will look to bring their solid club form to the International scene. A really tough squad to find much fault in I think Belgium win Group H and look set for a deep run in the tournament.
Prediction: Group Winners
Team: Korea Republic
Star Man: Sung Yung Ki
Manager: Myung Bo Hung
South Korea or the Korean Republic come into this tournament on a rough run of form having lost five of their last six games. Given the strength of this group I dont think things are going to get much easier for the side either. Its hard to see the Koreans getting much joy out of the games with Russia and Belgium but in a World Cup there are always surprises for the books and given that I expect the Koreans to beat Algeria a point against one of the other two may be enough to get through. But I just dont think it will happen.
Prediction: Group Exit
Star Man: Yuri Zhirkov
Manager: Fabio Capello
Russia will still be led by 30 year old star man Yuri Zhirkov the super talented former Chelsea midfielder is now plying his trade in Russia but is still as effective as ever and will lead a much changed Russia into this World Cup. With Fabio Capello as the manager Russia will expect to at least make the knockout stages. It will be tough to get past Belgium to win the group but Russia in general are an unpredictable group and a group win is not out of the question. I do think that the Russians may struggle against Belgium's size and pace though and I think that runners up will be their finishing spot
Prediction: Group Exit