World Cup 2014 – Your Indispensable Guide To Group G and Group H
World Cup Group G Betting
A Straightforward Task For Germany…
Three-time World Cup winners Germany are among the favourites to triumph in Brazil – BetVictor and Coral go 7/1 about Joachim Low’s side, but they’re as short as 5s with Ladbrokes.
Die Mannschaft haven’t lifted the trophy since 1990, but they’ve been knocking on the door pretty loudly in recent years – they were runners-up in 2002 and have finished third in both subsequent World Cups, plus they were semi-finalists at Euro 2012.
The current German side has evolved. They remain organised and robust, but there is more flair to Germany nowadays. Spain aside, no nation can match their midfield, which includes world-class talent such as Mesut Ozil, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sami Khedira, Mario Gotze and Thomas Mueller. Oh and Andre Schurrle, Toni Kroos and the exciting Julian Draxler. You get the picture.
Such is their strength in the middle of the park that even the defection of a player of Marco Reus’ calibre is not a big deal. Up front, Low has just two players, Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski. Klose is now 36, but with 14 World Cup goals to his name – only Ronaldo of Brazil has more – he will be a threat, while Podolski is no spring chicken either, but he is also a deadly finisher when on-song.
Whether or not Germany will go all the way this time round remains to be seen, but they should have little trouble in finishing on top in Group G, as the betting suggests (they’re 8/13 to win the group).
Ronaldo To Spur Portugal To The Knockout Phase?
Portugal are clear second favourites in the group at 11/4 with Betfred, ahead of Ghana and the USA, 12/1 and 15s with Coral and 888sport respectively.
Paulo Bento’s side is essentially an ageing one, but in the imposing shape of Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo the Portuguese are blessed with a true match-winning show-stopper.
Scorer of an incredible 51 goals in 47 appearances for Real Madrid this season, CR7 will be desperate to shine on the biggest stage of all. Indeed, now 29 years of age, this is likely to be Ronaldo’s last chance to compete in a World Cup while at the peak of his powers.
Overall, the Seleccao des Quinas lack the strength in depth to be considered serious contenders for the trophy – a world-class striker to assist Ronaldo with the responsibility of scoring goals wouldn’t go amiss – but Portugal look pretty solid all the same and should qualify with ease.
From a betting perspective, the 5/1 on offer with 888sport about Portugal v Ghana being the highest scoring game looks the way to go.
World Cup Group G Betting Advice:Portugal/Ghana to be the highest scoring game in Group G – 5/1 (888sport)
World Cup Group H Betting
Belgium – Bankers Or Blowouts?
Belgium have failed to qualify for the last two World Cups, but they did so in some style this time round and are as short as 14/1 with Betfred to reign supreme in Brazil this summer.
The Belgians have rapidly developed an array of high class players, many of which ply their trade in the English Premier League – the likes of Eden Hazard, Adnan Januzaj, Romelo Lukaku, Vincent Company, Marouane Fellaini and Kevin Mirallas.
Coach Marc Wilmotts has instilled great unity within the squad, which is in evidence on the pitch. Indeed, they interchange well in attack, with Lukaku capable of dropping deep and drifting out wide, while star man Hazard operates just behind the front line, creating openings for teammates as well as scoring himself with regularity.
Commensurate with their lofty position in the outright betting, the Red Devils are odds on to win Group H – 8/11 with Sky Bet being the best price available at the time of writing – and it will be something of a surprise if Russia, South Korea or Algeria can topple them.
Russia To Bustle Up Belgium?
The battle for second place in the group, assuming Belgium deliver, will be intriguing. Algeria will probably be outclassed, but it could be a close-run thing between Russia and South Korea.
However, when push comes to shove, the Russians should have enough about them to qualify as runners-up – and perhaps even give Belgium a fright or two!
Fabio Capello’s side won their qualification group, forcing Portugal to go through a playoff before sealing their place in the tournament, and they conceded just five times in 10 matches in the process.
Despite lacking any real world-class stars, Russia are a very solid, well-drilled outfit and, are as far as odds on shots go, the 11/20 with Ladbrokes about them qualifying is worth a second look if you’re partial to sizeable wagers.
World Cup Group H Betting Advice:Russia to qualify – 11/20 (Ladbrokes)