World Cup Group H Betting Preview: Belgium to prove their class in a tight group

While Marc Wilmots' talented side look set to sail through to the last 16 alongside Russia, Al Hain-Cole can see Algeria surprising a few people to finish above South Korea
With Belgium, Russia, South Korea and Algeria all drawn together, H looks like one of the more evenly-matched groups at this summer’s World Cup.

Unsurprisingly considering the number of talented individuals in their squad and the way they have been backed into fifth favourites in the outright market, the Belgians are 4/6 (1.67) favourites with bet365 to finish top of the pile, and available at just 1/6 (1.17) to reach the knockout stages.

Like Marc Wilmots’ men, Russia are competing in their first World Cup since 2002, when they lost 3-2 to Les Diables Rouges on the way to crashing out at the group stages.

With odds of 11/5 (3.20) available on them finishing in first place, Fabio Capello’s side are clearly not expected to fare much better against the same opponents this time out, but are still heavily fancied at 2/5 (1.40) to make it through to the second round.

Those prices seem fully justified considering the pair’s impressive form in qualifying, with neither losing a single match on the way to grabbing top spot in their respective groups, hence the relatively slim 4/6 (1.67) odds on offer for both to reach the last 16.

There is surely better value to be found in backing the Belgians to secure at least seven points from their three games at 10/11 (1.91), thus replicating their unbeaten qualification campaign.

The anticipated European domination of Group H leaves South Korea as 7/4 (2.75) outsiders to qualify and a lengthy 7/1 (8.00) to grab top spot, despite reaching beyond the first round in two of the last three World Cups.

Meanwhile, at 5/1 (6.00) merely to progress and a hefty 28/1 (29.00) to finish in first place, Algeria are expected to be the whipping boys in the group.

However, with a number of talented younger player recently coming through the ranks, Vahid Halihodzic’s team may fancy their chances of causing a shock or two in Brazil, particularly against the Taeguk Warriors.

With 10 defeats and just seven wins to their name over the last 22 fixtures, Hong-Myung Bo’s side are no longer the team that reached the semi-finals in 2002, and are worth backing at generous 2/1 (3.00) odds to finish bottom of the group this summer.

Belgium to earn over 6.5 points for a 2pt stake at 10/11 (1.91) with bet365
South Korea to finish bottom of the group for a 1pt stake at 2/1 (3.00) with bet365

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Al Hain-Cole is an experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.