The 2022 World Cup is finally here, and VSiN's soccer handicapper Nigel Seeley has picks, predictions and best bets for every group as part of the VSiN World Cup Guide.
Here is his Group G preview for Portugal, Uruguay, Ghana and South Korea:
Odds to win Group G
Brazil goes into the tournament as the +350 favorite to win the World Cup for what would be a record-breaking sixth time.
The most famous and most revered country in World Cup history, Brazil is the only national team to have played in all of the World Cups. That pedigree along with obvious talent makes it the team to beat in Qatar.
Brazil has always had an abundance of attacking flair, and goal scoring has rarely been an issue. It also could be said that historically Brazil has had a soft core both in defense and in the goalkeeping position. The class of 2022, though, is a different beast. It has strength all over the pitch including in defense as well as the usual abundance of attacking stars. The Brazilians have world-class cover in every position and appear to have no obvious weaknesses.
Neymar is the Golden Boy of the Brazilian team, and he has had an incredible season for his club PSG this season. Neymar has 18 goals and 12 assists in just 12 games. It’s no surprise he is among the favorites for top goals, top assists and player of the tournament.
The 30-year-old has already played 121 times for his country in a 12-year international career with an impressive 75 goals. He arrives at this World Cup at the peak of his powers and will be looking to carry his nation to yet another World Cup.
Valued at 50 million Euros, Vinicius Junior revived his career last year with Real Madrid and proved his worth by helping the Spanish giants win Champions League and La Liga titles weighing in with 27 goals in 35 games for a winger. Brazil will be looking for him to continue his incredible form and torture defenses from out wide.
Brazil will justify its favored status and win this group, but its matches will not be full of goals like teams from previous years. This team possesses a strong defensive unit, and I expect them to win matches in a controlled and professional manner.
World Cup 2018: Group Stage
This will be the fourth World Cup appearance from Serbia, which has previously participated in 2006, 2010 and 2018.
The Serbians have never progressed past the group stage, but this is the best squad they have ever taken to a major tournament. They are my dark horse in the competition, and the Serbians are the ones I believe could surprise in Qatar at 100-1 odds!
Serbia arrives in good form and is unbeaten in five games. Its tenacity coupled with its technical ability will make for a tough side to beat.
The Juventus striker has only appeared 16 times for Serbia, making his debut in 2020, but he has scored 8 goals during that short International career. Vlahovic hasn’t enjoyed the best start in Turin at Juventus with him struggling to find a regular place after being a regular at Fiorentina. When he plays in the national side, he is a different player, full of confidence. His strike partnership with Fulham’s in-form Aleksandar Mitrovic is one of the strongest in the tournament. I believe nobody will want to face the Serbians if they make the last 16 and that strike partnership can cause problems for anyone.
I believe that Serbia will make it through to the knockout stage for the first time, as runner-up behind Brazil. It’s a close call with Switzerland, but Serbia possesses a greater goal threat and that sways my decision. I expect the Serbians to get better as the tournament progresses and become the surprise team in Qatar.
World Cup 2018: Round of 16
The Swiss are ranked 15th in the FIFA rankings, but on current form they are arguably undervalued in that assessment.
They arrive In Qatar on the back of some incredible results in the Nations League, beating Spain and Portugal. Before we get too carried away with ourselves, we ought to remember many European powerhouses didn’t seem that interested in the Nations League with the start of the World Cup so close. Impressive results on the face of it, but can we completely believe them?
Euro 2020 saw the Swiss get a heroic win by beating World Cup champion France on penalties to eliminate the tournament favorite and they face the favored Brazil in Group G. Can they do it again? The players will come here with plenty of belief given recent results, but still I very much doubt it.
The Swiss captain has appeared 106 times for his country and is playing some of his best football of his career currently with his club Arsenal topping the EPL.
Xhaka is a fiery competitor and in this group I expect some explosive fixtures. I am not sure that the Arsenal man will be able to keep a lid on his temper and retain his composure in the pressure cooker of a World Cup.
It’s going to be close, but even with its impressive recent Nations League campaign, I feel that Switzerland will just miss out on qualification from Group G with a third-place finish.
Cameroon is 43rd in the FIFA rankings. After carefully looking at the squad and form, I have come to the conclusion that they are likely to struggle at this World Cup.
Cameroon finished a respectable third at the Africa Cup of Nations, but this is a big step up in quality. Sadly, African soccer — after its heady days in the ‘90s — is going backward on the world stage. Cameroon’s struggles will only serve to confirm that narrative.
Anguissa has been brilliant for an excellent Napoli side so far this season with two goals in 10 starts. He plays in a central defensive midfield position and has been a key figure in keeping Napoli solid at the back. He has helped Napoli to win its Champions League group and top Serie A, and he will hope to continue this form during the World Cup. He will have to show his best form as Cameroon will be under huge defensive pressure from all three other sides in this group.
Unfortunately, I can see this World Cup ending in embarrassment, given the gulf between Cameroon and the other teams in a strong group. Cameroon is a confident pick to finish at the bottom of Group G.
Serbia to qualify +120
Cameroon to finish bottom of the group at -136