Rounding out our 2022 World Cup Futures betting previews is a mouthwatering Group H that features star players and more storylines than you can keep track of.
Manchester United malcontent and Piers Morgan sit down merchant Cristiano Ronaldo heads to Portugal’s camp in Qatar for his likely final World Cup appearance. Ronaldo is the focus of unprecedented negative attention and questioning of his abilities after a disastrous comeback attempt at United. However, he might play a similar role in the Portugal squad as at United as a substitute off of the bench.
Beyond the Ronaldo circus, Korea star Son Heung-min will attempt to tough out a recent eye injury and lead his nation to the knockout round for the first time since hosting in 2002. If that wasn’t enough, Luis Suarez and Uruguay will revisit their highly confrontational World Cup quarterfinal battle where they cheated in the minds of many to beat fan favorites Ghana.
World Cup betting odds see the big name Portugal as favorites to win Group H at -163 odds. Followed by Uruguay (+200), South Korea (+1000) and Ghana (+1600).
This group is packed with stories, great players and history. Let’s take a look at the best soccer bets out of arguably the tastiest of the eight World Cup 2022 groups.
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Can Portugal Overcome Ronaldo’s Circus?
Portugal are close to life after Cristiano Ronaldo, a future many expected the national team to dread. Now, there is a good chance a national team once defined by CR7’s presence and talents will embrace the end once their time in Qatar is through.
In fact, the biggest question for this Portugal group is if the supporting cast can succeed in spite of Ronaldo’s attention seeking routine. The relationship between Ronaldo and his countryman Bruno Fernandes has to be awkward after he pressed self-destruct on Fernandes’ manager at United and the entire club before going to Qatar.
It will be Fernandes and Manchester Derby rivals Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva who will need to guide Portugal across the line in Qatar. Perhaps luckily for manager Fernando Santos, the absence of Diogo Jota due to injury will open some responsibility for Cristiano to feel important and hopefully avoid a France 2010 or Germany 2018 meltdown out of the group.
Uruguay to Fly
Tournament mainstays Uruguay bring their tradition, heritage and a balance of young and experienced stars to the World Cup. If that sounds familiar, it does as the South American nation can be relied upon to put in a strong performance whenever they are in the field.
Liverpool sensation Darwin Nunez will bring goals and plenty of arguments with opposing players after the whistle. Antics that will make his mentor, the still present Luis Suarez a proud striking partner. Suarez is far from his heights enjoyed at Ajax, Liverpool and Barca but squared eight goals and will be motivated to play the heel role in his rematch with Ghana.
Real Madrid youngster Federico Valverde should become a star in Qatar and old names Fernando Muslera, Diego Godin, Martin Caceres, and Edinson Cavani will remind World Cup fans of simpler times in past tournaments. This Uruguay squad is beyond loaded and are phenomenal value to win the group at +200.
New Look Ghana
Success unfortunately hasn’t followed Ghana the way it did Uruguay after their 2010 World Cup encounter. Ghana missed the tournament entirely in 2018 and failed to impress in the past two African Cup of Nations to follow up with further disappointment for the Black Stars.
Now, back in the World Cup and with a handful of key commitments in tow, Ghana looks to return as dark horse darlings. Brighton’s Tariq Lamptey and Athletic Bilbao’s Inaki Williams both committed to Ghana over other nations and join Arsenal’s Thomas Partey in a squad with a handful of players with elite club bonafides.
The Ayew brothers Andre and Jordan are back and will provide their leadership and experience in a group that now has exciting aforementioned young talent. It might not take them to the knockout stage but Ghana should avoid finishing bottom as they should feel good about their chances of matching up well against Korea. Especially if Korea’s key star in Son is playing hurt.
Will Korea Play More Than Spoiler?
Korea is the top nation in Asia, qualifying for ten straight World Cups and enjoying monumental wins over European giants such as Spain, Italy and Germany along the way.
Unfortunately for Korea, only the wins over Spain and Italy came in the knockout rounds and those wins came 20 years ago in 2002. Son lifted them to an upset win to end Germany’s title defense in Russia in 2018 but that wasn’t enough for Korea to earn qualification themselves.
It is unlikely Korea will change their poor form in the World Cup in Qatar. Drawing a group with three other nations with their own star quality and arguably more depth, it might be too much to ask Son to work his magic with his eye socket recently broken in four places. Korea to finish bottom of the group at +175 odds is good value as they are the weakest squad in the group unless Son is in world beating form.