• Belgium
  • Algeria
  • Russia
  • South Korea
  • Prediction
  • Matches
Tab 1
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Belgium

Manager - Marc Wilmots


Appointed in 2012. Was assistant successively to Dick Advocaat and Georges Leekens. A successful international, he captained the Belgian side in the 2002 World Cup and had 80 caps with 28 goals.


Players to Watch

* Eden Hazard - Will need no introduction to Premier League watchers. PFA Young Player of the Year and the Chelsea winger is probably the most potent of an exciting attacking side.

* Thibaut Courtois - Another Chelsea player, but this 22 year old has been loaned to Atletico Madrid for the last three seasons. In spite of his age, he has forged a reputation as one of the best goalkeepers around.


What we can expect

The team in this group who should go the furthest. They are a physically imposing side and a place in the Quarter Finals is definitely a realistic expectation. They seem to have become a fashionable team to like and can be looked on as a real dark horse in Brazil. Although I think that the World Cup has come just a bit too soon for this group of players, who are still developing. It will be interesting to see how Wilmots manages a pretty feisty squad. If he does, then watch out.


FIFA Ranking : 11


Channonite


Tab 2
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Algeria

Manager - Vahid Halilhodzic


A former Yugoslavia striker who will be attending his first World Cup as a coach, despite guiding the Ivory Coast qualification for South Africa 2010. Then he was sacked shortly before the tournament started, so he will be hoping to actually get to Brazil. Appointed in July 2011.


Players to Watch

*Sofiane Feghouli - A former France youth international now 24, the winger has spent the last four seasons with Valencia

*Nabil Bentaleb - This 19 year old midfielder became a regular in the Tottenham side under Tim Sherwood. That in itself tells you that his experience is limited, but has undoubted skill and the enthusiasm of youth.


What we can expect

Straight home, although there have been a lot of good things said about their new crop of youngsters. Possibly not a pushover then, but the only question is can they finish third in their group?


FIFA Ranking : 22


Channonite


Tab 3
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Russia

Manager - Fabio Capello

Nothing much more to say about him, other than I am sure we all remember his time as England manager. His calm, methodical approach has stiffened the Russian defence though.


Players to Watch

*Alan Dzagoev - Plays for CSKA Moscow and was outstanding in Euro 2012 and no doubt he will be hoping to reproduce that form now.

*Igor Denisov - 30 year old Dynamo Moscow midfielder who epitomises the strength in depth of the Russians in midfield


What we can expect

The Russians will be looking to their midfield to take up some of the slack from the forwards, who have not exactly been prolific scorers. Their style is apparently high-tempo, pressing football. Remind you of any English club sides?

They should have little trouble in getting through the group stages (for the first time as Russia, rather than The Soviet Union), but to get any further they will need to show a lot more than has been seen from them so far.


FIFA Ranking : 19


Channonite


Tab 4
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South Korea

Manager - Hong Myung-Bo

Played in four World Cups for South Korea, captaining them to fourth place in 2002. A legend in South Korea and will be hoping to emulate the teams successes of 2002.


Players to Watch

*Son Heung-Min - Will be 22 by the time the tournament starts. Plays for Bayer Leverkusen and has Champion’s League experience this season. He is the cutting edge of the south Korean team and will be expected to deliver, if they are going to get any further than the group stages.

* Ji Dong-Won - Also 22, he had a largely forgettable time at Sunderland, before going on loan to Augsburg in early 2013, where his career blossomed. He signed for Augsburg in January of this year and has now attracted the attention of Borussia Dortmund, where he is due to sign a four year contract on 1st July.


What we can expect

Straight home after the Group stages. The potential is there, but Belgium and Russia are both just too strong to expect any upsets.


FIFA ranking : 55

Channonite


Tab 5

Channonite's Prediction

Prediction for Group Stage

1. Belgium
2. Russia
3. South Korea
4. Algeria

I just don’t see anything other than Belgium and Russia going through from this group. It is probably the most predictable of all the groups, but South Korea might just have the capability to cause an upset. It is just that I don’t see it happening this time.

Russia are just too blooming boring to worry too many teams beyond Group H, but they have more than enough about them to finish second in this group.

Belgium are by far the most likely to win the group and if Marc Wilmots, the Belgian manager can deal with all the various egos in the Belgian squad, then I see no reason why they cannot figure strongly in the later stages, maybe even get to the semi-finals.


Channonite


Tab 6

Group 'H' Matches


  1. Belgium 2-1 Algeria - 17th June 2014
  2. Russia 1-1 South Korea - 17th June 2014
  3. Belgium 1-0 Russia - 22nd June 2014
  4. South Korea 2-4 Algeria - 22nd June 2014
  5. South Korea 0-1 Belgium - 26th June 2014
  6. Algeria 1-1 Russia - 26th June 2014

Group Table


As at 27.06.14

Country

P

W

D

L

GD

Pts

Belgium

3

3

0

0

3

9

Algeria

3

1

1

1

1

4

Russia

3

0

2

1

-1

2

Korea

3

0

1

2

-3

1