Group at a Glance: Belgium, Algeria, Russia, and South Korea. This is another one of the weaker groups in the World Cup, but still has some star power and plenty of intrigue. Algeria doesn’t have what it takes to compete in this group and will likely settle in as the fourth team in the group. Belgium was one of the eight seeded groups coming into the World Cup draw, but currently sit outside the top ten in FIFA rankings. South Korea and Russia have plenty of talent to challenge for the top spot in the group.
Favorites to Advance: The favorite to advance is Belgium, but it is no sure thing. I actually have them finishing second in the group. Russia is a common favorite to secure the second spot out of the group stages, but it will go to South Korea. The Korean’s have some really talented footballers that could catch other squads off guard. I like South Korea to secure the top spot in the group with Belgium close behind, and look for an epic showdown between the two teams star players when they face off, those two players are my players to watch.
Player(s) to Watch: The best player in the group is Eden Hazard of Belgium. He has scored or assisted on 12 goals in 19 matches in the Premiership this season, but has just 5 goals in 42 matches while playing for his country. Belgium might be able to get out of the group without Hazard playing great, but he needs to step up big time in the knockout rounds for them to make any kind of run, especially with the talent coming out of Group G. Son Hueng-Min will star for South Korea. The 21 year old has played great for both club and country over the past 12 months and could be a true wild card in the group stage.