Qatar World Cup: Complete analysis of Group H teams
Group H of the FIFA World Cup 2022 comprises two-time World Cup winners Uruguay and Cristiano Ronaldo-powered Portugal. The South American heavyweights will have the spotlights on themselves all throughout their run. South Korea, who will compete in their 10th successive World Cup, are in the fray as well alongside Ghana. We analyze the teams in Group H.
Decoding Portugal's journey to the WC
Portugal took a longer route to cement a spot in the 2022 FIFA WC. With five wins (D2 L1), Portugal concluded second in the UEFA Group A qualification, ranking behind Serbia. Portugal then prevailed against North Macedonia (2-0) in the playoff final to proceed to Qatar. Manchester United ace Bruno Fernandes' brace proved to be a handful.
Uruguay's run to the 2022 Qatar World Cup
Luis Suarez starred as Uruguay outclassed Chile 2-1 on matchday 1 of the CONMEBOL Qualifiers. The Sky Blue concluded third in the standings (W8 D4 L6), ranking behind table-topper Brazil and Argentina. Suarez was the best bet all throughout, with the second-most goals (8) and joint-most alongside Brazil's Neymar. In the meantime, Uruguay suffered a quarter-final defeat to Colombia in 2021 Copa America.
Portugal can win it all in Qatar
Portugal enjoy the services of some of the biggest names in club football. Manchester City's central defender Ruben Dias is at the helm of their backline. Ruben Neves (Wolves) and William Carvalho (Real Betis) form the crux of midfield. Coming to the attack, Ronaldo is the numero uno option, with Rafael Leao (AC Milan) and Bernardo Silva (Man City) on the flanks.
Uruguay have got their bases covered
Uruguay have a seasoned line-up, with some key players across departments. Strikers Edinson Cavani (Valencia) and Darwin Nunez (Liverpool) are sound options, besides Suarez in terms of scoring goals. Midfielders Federico Valverde (Real Madrid) and Rodrigo Bentacur (Tottenham) have been a major plus to their respective clubs in the concurrent season. Jose Maria Gimenez and Sebastian Coates are quality performers at the back.
South Korea have a promising side for the WC
Son's talismanic abilities will be put on display. The Tottenham forward was Premier League Golden Boot winner alongside Mohamed Salah last season (23 goals). Sky Blue have an able supporting cast around Son in Hwang In-beom (Olympiacos), Hwang Hee-chan (Wolves), and Lee Jae-sung (Mainz 05). Plus, there's the tall and sturdy Kim Min-jae (Napoli) at the helm of their defense.
A look at South Korea's journey to Qatar
South Korea finished second only to Iran in the third round of the Group A standings in the AFC Qualification. After being held to a 0-0 draw by Iraq, the Taegeuk Warriors managed seven wins besides a loss and a draw.
Ghana boast a quality attack too
The Black Stars will have their hopes pinned on Ajax midfielder Mohammed Kudus to offer a goal-scoring threat. Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace) and Andre Ayew (Al Sadd) are valuable candidates to have upfront. There's Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey whose 10th-minute opener played an invaluable part in Ghana's qualification. Wing-backs Tariq Lamptey (Brighton) and Denis Odoi (Club Brugge) add pace and lethality in the flanks.
Ghana can have a field day as well
Ghana trumped Nigeria in an enthralling fashion to proceed to the World Cup. They were held to a 0-0 draw in the first leg but managed a 1-1 away win to get over the line.
Verdict: Portugal and Uruguay remain favorites to progress
Portugal and Uruguay are the favorites to progress from Group H. Ronaldo can be decisive for Portugal with Fernandes and Silva in support. Uruguay have someone like a Valverde, who can be a solid figure. His numbers for Real Madrid this season are terrific.