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2022 World Cup Group H preview, teams, odds: Final bows for Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Uruguay’s Luis Suarez?

Cristiano Ronaldo World Cup
Cristiano Ronaldo (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File)

Group H at the 2022 World Cup features another pair of veteran stars who could be saying their goodbyes to the competition this year in Qatar. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal and Luis Suarez’s Uruguay are favored to advance, but South Korea has Song-Heung min while Ghana tries to re-establish itself as a threat out of Africa.  

2022 World Cup Group H preview

Ghana

Inaki Williams Ghana
FILE – Ghana’s Inaki Williams drives the ball during the international friendly soccer match between Brazil and Ghana in Le Havre, western France, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. As expected, Ghana selected forward Iñaki Williams, who has one cap for Spain, after he changed allegiance this year. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)
  • FIFA Rank: 61st
  • Qualification: Defeated Nigeria in CAF 3rd Round
  • Previous World Cup appearances: 3
  • Best finish: Quarterfinals (2010)
  • Odds to win group: +1000
  • Odds to make knockout stage: +250
  • Odds to win World Cup: +25000

This isn’t the Ghana you knew from 10 or 15 years ago that carried a legitimate threat on the world’s stage. In Qatar, Ghana is the lowest-ranked team in the field of 32, but they’ll bring in talented threats on the wing to try and surprise a group that many see as a two-team race.

X-Factor: Mohammed Kudus Ghana’s next great soccer star, Kudus is off to a brilliant start with Dutch side Ajax, recording nine goals in 20 matches across all competitions. His contributions will be vital for a Ghana side that simply doesn’t have that legitimate goal-scoring threat on the international stage. 

Ghana World Cup Roster

Position Player Club
Goalkeeper Lawrence Ati-Zigi St. Gallen
Goalkeeper Abdul Manaf Burudeen Eupen
Goalkeeper Ibrahim Danlad Asante Kotoko
Defender Daniel Amartey Leicester
Defender Abdul-Rahman Baba Reading
Defender Alexander Djiku Strasbourg
Defender Joseph Aidoo Celta Vigo
Defender Gideon Mensah Auxerre
Defender Denis Odoi Club Brugge
Defender Tariq Lamptey Brighton
Defender Alidu Seidu Clermont
Defender Mohamed Salisu Southampton
Midfielder Mohammed Kudus Ajax
Midfielder Daniel Kofi-Kyereh Freiburg
Midfielder Elisha Owusu Gent
Midfielder Thomas Partey Arsenal
Midfielder Fatawu Issahaku Sporting CP
Midfielder Osman Bukari Red Star Belgrade
Midfielder Daniel Afriyie Barnieh Hearts of Oak
Midfielder Salis Abdul Samed Lens
Midfielder Kamal Sowah Club Brugge
Midfielder Kamaldeen Sulemana Rennes
Forward Antoine Semenyo Bristol City
Forward Jordan Ayew Crystal Palace
Forward Andre Ayew Al Sadd
Forward Inaki Williams Athletic Bilbao

 

Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo stretches with teammate Pepe, in the background, during a Portugal soccer team training session in Oeiras, outside Lisbon, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022. Portugal will play Nigeria Thursday in a friendly match in Lisbon before departing to Qatar on Friday for the World Cup. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)
  • FIFA Rank: 9th
  • Qualification: Defeated North Macedonia in UEFA play-off
  • Previous World Cup appearances: 7
  • Best finish: 3rd Place (1966)
  • Odds to win group: -145
  • Odds to make knockout stage: -650
  • Odds to win World Cup:+1600

What version of the Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal will we see in Qatar? Will it be the side that won the European Championships six years ago? Or will it be the squad that bounced out of the Round of 16 at Euro 2020 and the 2018 World Cup? We’ll see, but there is plenty of intrigue surrounding the style of play we’ll see from the Selcao — specifically if they’ll be too defensive-minded.

X-Factor: Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal has its fair share of stars in the making, whether it’s Bernando Silva or Bruno Fernandes, or Rafael Leao. But this is still very much Ronaldo’s team even if he’s having problems with Manchester United. 

Portugal World Cup Roster

Position Player Club
Goalkeeper Rui Patricio Roma
Goalkeeper Jose Sa Wolverhampton
Goalkeeper Diogo Costa FC Porto
Defender Pepe FC Porto
Defender Raphael Guerreiro Borussia Dortmund
Defender Diego Dalot Manchester United
Defender Antonio Silva Benfica
Defender Ruben Dias Manchester City
Defender Nuno Mendes PSG
Defender Danilo Pereira PSG
Defender Joao Cancelo Manchester City
Midfielder Otavio FC Porto
Midfielder Joao Palhinha Fulham
Midfielder Bruno Fernandes Manchester United
Midfielder Matheus Nunes Wolverhampton
Midfielder William Carvalho Real Betis
Midfielder Vitinha PSG
Midfielder Joao Mario Benfica
Midfielder Ruben Neves Wolverhampton
Forward Bernardo Silva Manchester City
Forward Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United
Forward Ricardo Horta Braga
Forward Rafael Leao AC Milan
Forward Joao Felix Atletico Madrid
Forward Goncalo Ramos Benfica
Forward Andre Silva RB Leipzig

 

South Korea

Son Heung-min South Korea
South Korea’s Son Heung-min celebrates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the friendly soccer match between South Korea and Cameroon at Seoul World Cup Stadium in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
  • FIFA Rank: 28th
  • Qualification: Finished 2nd in Group A of AFC qualifying
  • Previous World Cup appearances: 10
  • Best finish: Semifinals, 4th place (2002)
  • Odds to win group: +1100
  • Odds to make knockout stage: +260
  • Odds to win World Cup: +20000

It’s become commonplace over the last 20 years to see South Korea play with a certain brand of ferocity. That will still be the case in Qatar, but they’ll think twice about playing an attacking brand considering the major question marks that come with their defense. 

X-Factor: Son Heung-min The Tottenham superstar had joint share of the Premier League Golden Boot last season with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and is the generational, transcendental talent that will carry South Korea as far as they’ll go. Whether or not a recent facial surgery inhibits his contributions remains to be seen, but he’ll have to be on another level to keep the Taegeuk Warriors on par with the likes of Portugal and Uruguay.

South Korea World Cup Roster

Position Player Club
Goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu Al-Shabab
Goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo Ulsan Hyundai
Goalkeeper Song Bum-keun Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
Defender Kim Young-gwon Ulsan Hyundai
Defender Kim Jin-su Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
Defender Hong Chul Daegu FC
Defender Kim Min-jae Napoli
Defender Kwon Kyung-won Gamba Osaka
Defender Kim Moon-hwan Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
Defender Kim Tae-hwan Ulsan Hyundai
Defender Cho Yu-min Daejon Hana Citizen
Defender Yoon Jong-gyu FC Seoul
Midfielder Jung Woo-young Al-Sadd
Midfielder Lee Jae-sung Mainz
Midfielder Hwang Hee-chan Wolverhampton
Midfielder Kwon Chang-hoon Gimcheon Sangmu
Midfielder Hwang In-beom Olympiacos
Midfielder Na Sang-ho FC Seoul
Midfielder Son Jun-ho Shandong Taishan
Midfielder Paik Seung-ho Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
Midfielder Jeong Woo-yeong Freiburg
Midfielder Lee Kang-in Mallorca
Midfielder Song Min-kyu Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
Forward Son Heung-min Tottenham
Forward Hwang Ui-jo Olympiacos
Forward Cho Gue-sung Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors

 

Uruguay

Luis Suarez Uruguay
FILE – Uruguay’s Luis Suarez celebrates scoring his side’s opening goal against Paraguay during a qualifying soccer match for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at General Pablo Rojas stadium in Asuncion, Paraguay, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz, File)
  • FIFA Rank: 14th
  • Qualification: Finished 3rd in CONMEBOL qualifying
  • Previous World Cup appearances: 13
  • Best finish: Champions (1930, 1950)
  • Odds to win group: +185
  • Odds to make knockout stage: -220
  • Odds to win World Cup: +4000

You wouldn’t think Uruguay would be favored to advance from Group H given how difficult qualifying was, forcing them to change managers. But a team blended with a young, dynamic midfield to go with established, star veterans up front creates an intriguing side that’s anchored by a resolute defense. 

X-Factor: Federico Valverde Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani can’t do it alone anymore, and Valverde is the young star to help pull the strings for Uruguay’s attack in Qatar. The 24-year-old midfielder has six goals in 14 La Liga matches for Real Madrid this season, adding another dimension — and danger — for the Uruguayans to boast.

Uruguay World Cup Roster

Position Player Club
Goalkeeper Fernando Muslera Galatasaray
Goalkeeper Sergio Rochet Nacional
Goalkeeper Sebastian Sosa Independiente
Defender Ronald Araujo Barcelona
Defender Martin Caceres LA Galaxy
Defender Sebastian Coates Sporting CP
Defender Jose Maria Gimenez Atletico Madrid
Defender Diego Godin Velez Sarsfield
Defender Mathias Olivera Napoli
Defender Jose Luis Rodriguez Nacional
Defender Guillermo Varela Flamengo
Defender Matias Vina Roma
Midfielder Rodrigo Betancur Tottenham
Midfielder Nicolas De La Cruz River Plate
Midfielder Lucas Torreira Galatasaray
Midfielder Manuel Ugarte Sporting CP
Midfielder Federico Valverde Real Madrid
Midfielder Matias Vecino Lazio
Midfielder Giorgian De Arrascaeta Flamengo
Midfielder Agustin Canobbio Athletico Paranaense
Forward Facundo Pellistri Manchester United
Forward Edinson Cavani Valencia
Forward Maxi Gomez Trabzonspor
Forward Darwin. Nunez Liverpool
Forward Luis Suarez Nacional
Forward Facundo Torres Orlando City

*Odds courtesy of DraftKings

 

2022 World Cup Group H schedule

Date Match Time TV
Thursday, Nov. 24 Uruguay v. South Korea 8 AM FS1
Thursday, Nov. 24 Portugal v. Ghana 11 AM FOX
Monday, Nov. 28 South Korea v. Ghana 8 AM FS1
Monday, Nov. 28 Portugal v. Uruguay 2 PM FOX
Friday, Dec. 2 South Korea v. Portugal 10 AM FOX
Friday, Dec. 2 Ghana v. Uruguay 10 AM FS1

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