- South Korea v Portugal
- Friday, December 2, 2022, 10:00 ET
- At the Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
South Korea faces a simple prospect in its last Group H game: beat Portugal or go home.
Who do Bettors Favor?
According to the best-rated online sportsbooks Portugal is the clear favorite with bettors going into this game. The Group H leader is rated as a -160 chance to win, with South Korea priced at around +410 and the draw rated as a +330 shot.
|South Korea v Portugal|
World Cup Group H Betting Briefing
Portugal has been the clear standout team in Group H, but there is little to choose between the others and there has been plenty of entertainment along the way.
It isn’t a huge surprise that Portugal, with its big tournament experience and array of attacking talent has been able to win both of its first two games to sew up qualification, but the other games have been less predictable, and have provided some fascinating clashes.
Of Portugal’s rivals, Ghana finds itself in the best position, with three points and a good chance to go through even if it draws its final game against Uruguay. The South American team, meanwhile, is facing an early exit having failed to live up to its potential and even a win against Ghana in its final game may not be enough to take it through to the Round of 16.
Getting through to the knockout phase is an achievement, but the team that finishes second in this Group is likely to have a tough task awaiting it as Brazil is almost certainly going to be the opponent. Portugal can avoid that scenario with a draw or a win here, while all South Korea can do is fight hard for what would be a surprise victory and hope that the other Group H result goes its way.
South Korea Face Tough Challenge
At the World Cup, the order in which a team has to play its rivals is crucial, and in this case, South Korea has drawn the shortest straw, facing the best team in the Group, Portugal, in its final game. That is a tough challenge for the team that was rated as the underdog of the four before the tournament began.
This game also represents a significant psychological challenge for the South Koreans after the disappointment of the second game defeat to Ghana.
South Korea played extremely well to get back into that game after trailing 2-0, only to go behind again seven minutes later. It is hard to escape the feeling that it has missed its chance although head coach Paulo Bento will be expecting his players to rise to the occasion one more time.
In its favor, South Korea has shown that it can defend resolutely and that it can create and score goals. There is also the fact that Bento knows all about Portugal and most of the players in the Portugal squad, so if any coach is in a position to engineer a victory in this game, he is the most likely.
Portugal In Control
It hasn’t always been easy for Portugal but it is in control of Group H going into the final round of games and is already looking ahead to the Round of 16.
The fear among some Portugal supporters going into this tournament was that the caution that has characterized the tenure of head coach Fernando Santos would this time be counter-productive by stifling an impressive array of attacking talent in the Portugal squad.
That has not happened, however. Santos seems to have blended the experience and youth in his squad together effectively and has produced a team that is comfortable on defense and on offense, and that has a certain amount of resilience, enabling it to cope with Ghana’s comeback in the first game and to get past a stubborn Uruguay in the second.
Portugal does not need to win here and it is possible that one or two players could be rested, but it is the overwhelming favorite to win and finish with three wins from three.
World Cup Group H Match Betting
This may develop into an entertaining game as South Korea needs to push for the win, which may leave room for Portugal to exploit. Overall, however, I expect there will be relatively few chances as Portugal knows exactly how to manage a game to achieve the required result. I am tempted by the possibility of picking the draw in the match betting market here, but going low on the goals markets looks the better option.