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We have got four more World Cup 2022 games to look forward to on Thursday, as Groups G and H finally get underway.
Brazil will take to the field in the last match of day five, while Switzerland, Portugal, and Uruguay will also be looking to get off to winning starts in Qatar.
Here are our favorite prop bets for all four games - remember, these are wagers on events that do not directly affect the final result.
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Group G is a tough one to call, with Serbia, Switzerland, and Cameroon all capable of joining Brazil in the knockout phase. The winner of this game (if there is one) will steal an early march on the loser, so the pressure is on both sides from the get-go.
Switzerland knocked out France en route to the quarter-finals of last summer’s European Championship. They have a balanced, cohesive team and will lean heavily on their defensive strength amid doubts over their productivity in the attack.
Cameroon will look to get the ball out wide and whip crosses into the box, but Switzerland’s backline will fancy its chances of nullifying that tactic. Back the Europeans to register a clean sheet in this one.
South Korea will be an interesting team to watch in Group H. In qualification, they played a possession-based style with plenty of midfield passing and rotations. But against teams like Uruguay and Portugal, Paulo Bento’s side may be forced to go back to their counter-attacking roots.
South Korea will once again be heavily reliant upon Son Heung-min in Qatar, but the Tottenham Hotspur forward recently underwent surgery for a fractured eye socket. It would only be natural if Son was not at his sharpest against Uruguay, particularly as he has had an underwhelming start to the campaign at the club level.
If Son is kept quiet by the Uruguay backline, South Korea may struggle to score goals. Back the two-time world champions to keep a clean sheet in their first game of the tournament.
Portugal’s squad is strong enough to believe they can do all the way in Qatar, yet there are some who have tipped them to be one of the shocks early exits. A confident victory over Ghana would go a long way to allaying those fears, but Portugal may have to remain patient against Otto Addo’s charges.
Ghana look set to line up in a 3-4-3 formation which could be more like a 5-4-1 when they do not have the ball. They will sit in a compact and narrow shape, looking to close off spaces for the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, and Rafael Leao.
Portugal’s attacking quality is such that they will surely make a breakthrough at some point, but the opening goal might not come until the second half.
Brazil will line up in what is broadly a 4-2-3-1 formation at this World Cup, but Tite has a few different ways he can format his side. The main choice for this game is whether he plays Casemiro and Fred as a double pivot in midfield, or whether he drops Lucas Paqueta into a deeper role in order to squeeze Vinicius Junior into the attack.
The first option is probably the more likely, but that does not mean Brazil will be short of firepower in attack. It is hard to see any opponent in this competition keeping out a frontline of Raphinha, Neymar, Paqueta, and Richarlison.
Serbia are a bold, attack-minded team and they will not simply sit back and accept their fate against the pre-tournament favorites. This should be an entertaining encounter, with goals at both ends a distinct possibility.
Dates: November 20 - December 18
How to Watch: Fox Sports, Telemundo, fuboTV
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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