Group H, just as Group C, is one of the hardest to predict at the 2014 World Cup, with Belgium and Russia as presumptive favorites against Algeria and Korea, which are the definitive underdogs.
In actuality, Group H has no real favorite as none of the teams that make it up is strong enough to predict they will run away with the top spot in the group. Belgium and Russia (the former Soviet Union) are the most experienced of the bunch, and as such they have the best chances to advance to the round of 16.
Belgium has appeared in 11 previous World Cups, but have failed to qualify since 2002, and coach Mark Wilmots is looking to start a new chapter in international competition in the wide open Group H. He has a mix of young, talented players that will clearly be the focus of this group.
The star of the European team is Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard, who at 23 is the club most feared attacker. He is able to create his own scoring opportunities, which will cause problems for the rest of Group H, along with Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas.
And this is where the waters get murky, when it comes to predicting which one of the remaining three teams will advance to the next round in the 2014 World Cup, since Russia, Korea, and Algeria are all on a similar playing level.
Like Belgium, Russia has not made it to the World Cup since 2002, and the 2018 host is looking to prove that they can manage in the international arena. Manager Fabio Capello leads a very good defensive team that can withstand the offense of any of its rivals.
Russia’s secret weapons in Group H are Alan Dzagoev together with Alexander Korkorin and Aleksandr Kerzhakov. All three players have the potential of becoming a nightmare for the defense of the rest of the group.
Believe it or not, Korea has had nine appearances in previous World Cups, and they come to Group H armed with two main stars in the persons of midfielders Ki Sung- Yueng and Kim Bo-Kyung, both dangerous attackers.
Algeria is the weakest team in Group H, and they will look to find the net, after failing to score a single goal in the groups stage at the 2010 South Africa World Cup. Midfielder Sofiane Feghouli, who plays in La Liga’s Valencia, is the one to watch for. Don’t discount them.
Prediction: Belgium and Russia advance.
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