Group H preview and predictions – An Analysis of Group H and Our Predictions for the 2022 World Cup

Group H preview and predictions

Group H of the 2022 World Cup features two-time defending champion Uruguay, World Cup veterans South Korea, one of Africa’s most accomplished teams historically, Ghana, as well as Portugal, who is captained by Cristiano Ronaldo.

When determining who will go on to the round of 16, we look at the predictor numbers to see who will advance through the group stage.

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The Predictions Made by Opta

If you were to design a group with the intention of containing “pure World Cup energy,” then it is highly likely that you would end up with something like Group H. This group features a delightful assortment of teams, including a South American giant, a historic African side, a European heavyweight, and arguably Asia’s biggest team. In spite of this, the Opta win prediction model considers this group to be very straightforward, which is an assessment that is not always shared by me (see below).

The algorithm gives Portugal an 82.6% probability of advancing out of the group and a 55.7% chance of winning the group. This makes Portugal the clear front-runner in the opinion of the supercomputer. Okay, so the team is made up of Cristiano Ronaldo and a number of other players that are considered to be among the best in the Premier League. These players include Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo, and Bernardo Silva. A further advantage in Portugal’s favor is the fact that they are one of just five European countries to have participated in each and every World Cup since it began in 2002.

They undoubtedly have the lineage, but does that mean they also have the form? The loss of the hard-working Diogo Jota is a setback, as is the fact that Ronaldo is now displaying his age for the first time. Ronaldo has never scored in a World Cup knockout game, and this is the first time that he is showing his age. Will the head coach, Fernando Santos, employ him as an impact sub, or will he attempt to design an offensive that can compensate for his lack of mobility?

Group H of the World Cup

One of the teams in Group H that won’t have a problem with mobility up front in Group H is Uruguay. They have a player named Darwin Nez who is supercharged and acts as a type of drama-seeking pylon for their side. Luis Suárez, a seasoned player who has scored eight goals in qualification and is undoubtedly looking forward to his rematch against Ghana in the last game of the group, is one of the veterans who is supporting him. As a rule, Uruguay has a tendency to get off to a poor start in World Cup competition, but with Portugal playing in their second game, they will be eager to get off to a fast start. The supercomputer predicts that Uruguay will finish in a respectable second place in this group because of its extensive history, which includes having previously won the competition twice.

South Korea is keeping its fingers crossed that their national hero and top player, Son Heung-min, will make a full recovery from the eye injury he sustained in the Champions League earlier this month. Without him, this competition seems insurmountably difficult, particularly when one considers the fact that fifty percent of the nation’s total victories occurred during the period that they were co-hosts in the year 2002. The Korean Republic has the worst victory ratio (18%) out of the 22 countries that have competed in at least 30 matches at the World Cup. They have only won six of the 34 games that they have played overall in 10 tournaments. According to the supercomputer, they have a paltry 8.2% probability of making it to the last 16.

Ghana, which in 2010 was so close to advancing to the semi-finals but was ultimately prevented from doing so by a handball committed by Luis Suarez of Uruguay, is the last team in Group H. They have a respectable reputation, having advanced out of the group stage in three of their four previous visits, and in the deep-data World Cups (from 1966 until the present), Ghana has averaged more shots per World Cup game than any other team (19). Ghana is aware that a successful start in their first game, which is against Portugal, has the potential to carry them once again into the second round. The supercomputer estimates that there is only a 7.2% probability of it happening, but I’m not sure I buy that.

My Prediction for the Opta Million

When trying to finish the Opta Million, one of the challenging aspects is being aware that sometimes along the way there will be a significant surprise. Who predicted that Germany would end up with the worst record in their World Cup group in 2018?

My gut tells me that Portugal will be the same team in 2022 and that Ronaldo’s (certainly) last World Cup will conclude with a third-place finish behind Uruguay and Ghana, who can finally share in victory together as they advance to the second round. This will be Ronaldo’s last World Cup.

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