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World Cup: Group H preview

Group H is one of the more competitive sections at the World Cup and Portugal are expected to finish top ahead of Uruguay, Ghana and South Korea.

The Euro 2016 winners are rated serious contenders to lift the trophy at 12/1 but they can expect a tricky group-stage examination against rivals with plenty of tournament experience.

What:World Cup
Where:Qatar
When:20th November - 18th December 2022
How to watch:All matches will be shown on either the BBC or ITV
Odds:Brazil 9/2, England 11/2, France 6/1, Argentina 7/1, Spain 8/1

Uruguay have bragging rights when it comes to World Cup pedigree in Group H, having won the tournament twice, although those triumphs came in 1930 and 1950.

Their more recent form is also respectable as they reached the quarter-finals in Russia in 2018, the last 16 in 2014 and the semi-finals in 2010, and at 2/1 they are rated the biggest dangers to 4/6 Portugal in Group H.

Uruguay's 2010 run included a dramatic quarter-final win over Ghana, a match remembered for Luis Suarez's goal-line handball and Asamoah Gyan's subsequent penalty miss.

That last-eight appearance was Ghana's best effort at a World Cup and the Black Stars finished bottom of their group in 2014 and failed to qualify four years later.

Portugal were also eliminated from Ghana's group in 2014 after finishing third behind Germany and the USA.

The Group H favourites lost to France in the 2006 semi-finals but have failed to make it past the last 16 in three subsequent tournaments. South Korea, 11/1 to qualify for the last 16 in Qatar, have competed at every World Cup since 1986 although seven of their last nine appearances ended in group-stage exits.

The glorious exception was in 2002 when, as co-hosts with Japan, the Koreans knocked out Italy and Spain before losing to Germany in the semi-finals.

Who has been drawn in Group H?

CountryManagerCaptainBest Ever Finish

Odds To Qualify From
Group H

Odds To Win
Group H

PortugalFernando SantosCristiano RonaldoThird place (1966)2/114/6
GhanaOtto AddoAndre AyewQuarter-finals (2010)9/411/1
UruguayDiego AlonsoiDiego GodinWinners (1930,1950)1/22/1
South KoreaPaulo BentoHeung-Min SonFourth place (2002)9/411/1

Portugal had to come through the playoffs after being pipped to top spot in their qualifying group by Serbia. They beat Turkey 3-1 in the semi-final before a Bruno Fernandes brace sealed a final victory over North Macedonia, who had shocked European champions Italy in the semis.

Uruguay finished third in the Conmebol standings, earning an automatic spot in Qatar, although they scored only 22 goals in 18 games and lost all four of their matches against the top two Brazil and Argentina.

Ghana also struggled for goals during their qualifying campaign, topping their second-round group despite finding the net only seven times in six games. That set up a heavyweight playoff against Nigeria and the Black Stars came through the two-legged tie on away goals after a 1-1 aggregate scoreline.

South Korea made smooth progress through their AFC third-round group, winning seven of their 10 matches to finish as runners-up to Iran and secure automatic qualification to the World Cup.

When are the Group H fixtures?

DateMatch numberTeam 1Team 2KO timeVenue
24th November14UruguaySouth Korea13:00

Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan

24th November15PortugalGhana16:00

Stadium 974, Doha

28th November30South KoreaGhana13:00

Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan

28th November

32PortugalUruguay19:00

Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail

2nd December

45GhanaUruguay15:00

Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah

2nd December

46South KoreaPortugal15:00

Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan

Group favourites Portugal are 4/7 to make a winning start to their title bid by beating 11/2 shots Ghana in Doha on 24th November.

The other fixture on matchday one is an intriguing contest as 3/4 Uruguay take on 15/4 South Korea while Portugal's clash with the Uruguayans in Lusail on 28th November could go a long way towards deciding who wins the group.

Ghana fans, though, will be eagerly awaiting their side's final game on 2nd December when the Black Stars bid to avenge their controversial 2010 defeat against Suarez's Uruguay.

Related World Cup Group H News

World Cup - Football: Ghana team profile

World Cup - Football: Portugal team profile

World Cup - Football: South Korea team profile

World Cup - Football: Uruguay team profile

Who are the players to look out for in Group H?

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo won the Euro 2020 Golden Boot at the age of 36 and he is 16/1 to be top goalscorer at what will surely be his final World Cup.

However, Ronaldo is far from the only star in the Portugal squad as his Manchester United teammate Fernandes, Liverpool forward Diogo Jota and Manchester City defenders Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo are also players to watch.

Uruguay forward Darwin Nunez, a big-money signing for Liverpool in the summer, is 50/1 to win the Golden Boot while veterans Suarez and Edinson Cavani will also be hoping to make an impact on the tournament.

Ghana are heavily reliant on the experienced Ayew brothers, Jordan and Andre, for attacking inspiration. Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey scored the crucial goal against playoff rivals Nigeria and Athletic Bilbao stalwart Inaki Williams has switched his international allegiance from Spain in time for the World Cup.

Tottenham's Heung-Min Son, a six-time South Korean player of the year, is undoubtedly his nation's biggest talent.

Who could be the breakout stars in Group H?

Plenty of classy veterans will be strutting their stuff in Group H but two Portugal youngsters who could catch the eye are pacy winger Rafael Leao, a Serie A champion with AC Milan last season, and midfielder Vitinha, who has settled in well at Paris Saint-Germain after a summer move from Porto.

This tournament may come too soon for Liverpool's Portuguese starlet Fabio Carvalho but Brighton full-back Tariq Lamptey received his first Ghana call-up in September and Uruguay will be hoping for big things Real Madrid's midfield dynamo Federico Valverde.

Who will win Group H?

Portugal have underperformed at World Cups but they have a nice blend of survivors from their Euro 2016 success and talented younger players and could be set for an exciting tournament in Qatar.

However, Uruguay should also have a strong squad packed with players from Europe's top clubs and at 2/1 they are worth backing to deny Portugal top spot.

Diego Alonso's men came through a tough South American qualifying campaign and, in what is likely to be a tight, low-scoring group, Uruguay and Portugal have the experience and attacking quality to see off outsiders Ghana and South Korea.

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