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Group H World Cup Qatar 2022: favorites, analysis and calendar

 

The challenge of Group H of the 2022 World Cup: what can target Portugal?


Classified as a possible contender for the title in the previous edition due to their coronation at Euro 2016 and the presence in their ranks of Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal had been eliminated by Uruguay (an opponent they found in this group H), from the round of 16 (2-1). In four years, however, the status of the Seleção has been seriously damaged and, at present, no one ranks Portugal among the first circle of favorites.


It must be said that, despite their coronation in the 1st edition of the League of Nations in 2019, the men of Fernando Santos clearly give the impression of being on the downward slope. During the last Euro, they thus extricated themselves from their group, certainly very strong (France, Germany, Hungary), only among the best 3rd, before being eliminated by Belgium, without glory, from the 8th finals (0 -1).


 

The qualifying campaign for the World Cup proved disappointing since it was Serbia who finished top of the group and the Lusitanians had to go through the play-offs, which saw them eliminate Turkey (3-1) then North Macedonia (2-0). During the 3LdN , they were also overtaken by Spain. Between a tough Ronaldo and a talented rising generation that still lacks experience (Vitinha, Joao Felix, Nuno Mendes, Rafael Leao, etc.), this World Cup comes at the wrong time for the Portuguese who remain the favorites of this group but who may struggle to get past the quarter-finals.


Should we bury Uruguay?


The time when the Luis Suarez-Edinson Cavani doublet made the opposing defenses tremble seems to be over. The 4th. of the 2010 edition was eliminated by the Blues in the quarter-finals of the last edition (0-2) and seeing Celeste reach this stage of the competition in Qatar would be a big surprise Eliminated in the quarter-finals of the last two Copa Americas, the Uruguayans qualified without glory, finishing 3rd in qualifying in the South American Zone, very far from Brazil and Argentina and only 4 points ahead of Peru. play-off, all while having lost a third of the matches (6 out of 18).


The young guard embodied by Federico Valverde, Darwin Nunez or Ronald Araujo, no doubt forfeited for the World Cup, has great promise, but this tournament seems to come a little early and the results of the preparation matches show a certain irregularity, with encouraging victories (3-0 against Mexico and 2-0 against Canada) and questionable poor performances (1-0 defeat against Iran, draw 0-0 against the United States).


South Korea ready to jump


Eliminated in the group stage of the last two editions, South Korea dreams of achieving a surprise in this group. Arriving 2nd in their qualifying pool in Asia behind Iran, the Taeguk Warriors did not however suffer too much to qualify since they finished 11 points ahead of the play-off, the United Arab Emirates. With leaders like Heung-min Son (Tottenham), Min-jae Kim (Naples) and Ui-jo Hwang (Olympiakos, ex-Bordeaux), Paulo Bento's men have some great shots and they showed quite good things during recent friendly matches with a record of 3 wins (Chile, Egypt and Cameroon), 2 draws (Paraguay and Costa Rica) and a defeat (1-5 against Brazil). It remains to be seen whether the South Koreans will manage to shake up the hierarchy and surprise Uruguay.


Ghana, Tom Thumb?


Back after missing the last edition, the Black Stars have meanwhile lost their status as an African safe bet. Preceded by Morocco, Gabon and the Comoros, the Ghanaians were eliminated in the group stage of the last CAN and this fiasco led to the appointment of Otto Addo as coach just before the World Cup play-offs. A profitable choice since Ghana validated its ticket for Qatar by surprising Nigeria under the away goal rule, still valid in Africa (0-0, 1-1).


Addo has opted for a certain rejuvenation and the integration of a number of dual nationals who have recently given their consent, like Iñaki Williams (Bilbao) and Tariq Lamptey (Brighton). With executives like Thomas Partey (Arsenal) and Mohammed Kudus (Ajax Amsterdam) in top form at the club, this selection is not lacking in talent, but it risks paying for its inexperience. The 3-0 defeat against Brazil followed by a narrow victory against the modest Nicaragua (1-0) during the recent series of friendlies thus proves to be little reassuring... On the other hand, the Ghanaians will come forward over-motivated against Uruguay, the team that shattered their dream in the quarter-finals in 2010 in painful circumstances (hand by Luis Suarez, etc).


Group H 2022 World Cup – Their history at the World Cup:


  • South Korea: participation11th ; 4thin 2002.
  • Ghana: 4th participation; quarter-final in 2010.
  • Portugal: appearance8th ; 3rd in 1966.
  • Uruguay: 14th participation; winner in 1930 and 1950.


The schedule for Group H of the 2022 World Cup


Thursday November 24

2 p.m., Uruguay – South Korea, at Education City Stadium

5 p.m., Portugal – Ghana, at Stadium 974


Monday November 28,

South Korea – Ghana, at Education City Stadium

Portugal – Uruguay, at Lusail Stadium


Friday December 2

Ghana – Uruguay, at Al-Janoub Stadium

South Korea – Portugal, at Education City


Stadium Group H of the 2022 World Cup: Cristiano Ronaldo


Admittedly, the Portuguese finished top scorer at the last Euro (5 goals), but since then the 37-year-old striker has been going through a complicated period by finding himself a substitute at Manchester United following his aborted departure last summer. Less prolific in club (a small goal scored and on penalty), the fivefold Ballon d'Or also remains on 3 games without scoring in selection and the meetings of September highlighted his lack of efficiency. But CR7, who wants to play at least until Euro 2024, could also take advantage of the meeting in Qatar to set the record straight

 
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