WORLD CUP 2014: Group H confirmed runners, riders & predictions

In our analysis of some of the biggest competing countries in this summer’s world cup, we have focused mainly on those in the top 10 of the current FIFA World rankings. However as we are now less than 24 hours away from the start of the biggest tournament in world football, treat this as your full list and reference point for the 23 man squads for every single country playing in this summers competition. Alongside the squad listing, @93elby will also be posting his star man, his hot prospect, his dark horse and where he thinks each team will finish this summer.

Our final look at this summer’s World Cup squads focuses on the last of all eight groups, Group H.

GROUP H SQUADS IN FULL

Belgium:

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid, on loan from Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Sammy Bossut (Zulte Waregem).

Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Atletico Madrid), Laurent Ciman (Standard Liege), Nicolas Lombaerts (Zenit St Petersburg), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Daniel Van Buyten (Bayern Munich), Anthony Vanden Borre (Anderlecht), Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham).

Midfielders: Nacer Chadli, Mousa Dembele (both Tottenham), Steven Defour (Porto), Kevin De Bruyne (Wolfsburg), Marouane Fellaini, Adnan Januzaj (both Manchester United), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Kevin Mirallas (Everton), Divock Origi (Lille), Axel Witsel (Zenit St Petersburg).

Forwards: Romelu Lukaku (Everton, on loan from Chelsea), Dries Mertens (Napoli).

STAR MAN: Vincent Kompany
Premier League winning captain this season for Manchester, Vincent Kompany is a true leader on and off the pitch. His influence will be felt throughout all areas of the pitch for Belgium. Despite having a number of strong defenders at their disposal, the loss of Kompany in the tournament would have catastrophic consequences for many people’s dark horses to win the World Cup this year.

HOT PROSPECT: Romelu Lukaku
At the mere age of 21 years old, Romelu Lukaku really does have the world at his feet and after a successful loan deal at Everton last season and an injury to Belgium talisman Christian Benteke, this really could be an enormous opportunity to not only assert himself in world football but maybe also in Jose Mourinho’s plans for Chelsea’s future plans.

DARK HORSE: Kevin De Bruyne
Quietly goes about his business in the heart of the midfield for Belgium sitting slightly in front of Axel Witsel in the engine room, De Bruyne is as influential in attack as he is defence and if he can show even a patch of the talents which earnt him his move to the Premier League and then back to the Bundesliga without any decrease in value, he really will have Chelsea regretting letting him go so quickly.

WHERE WILL THEY FINISH IN GROUP H? 1st Place

South Korea:

Goalkeepers: Jung Sung-ryeong (Suwon Bluewings), Kim Seung-gyu (Ulsan Horang-i), Lee Bum-young (Busan I’Park)

Defenders: Yun Suk-young (QPR), Kim Young-kwon (Guangzhou Evergrande), Hwang Seok-ho (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Hong Jeong-ho (Augsburg), Kwak Tae-hwi (Al Hilal), Lee Yong (Ulsan Horang-i), Kim Chang-soo (Kashiwa Reysol), Park Joo-ho (Mainz)

Midfielders: Ki Seung-yueng (Sunderland, on loan from Swansea), Ha Dae-sung (Beijing Guoan), Han Kook-young (Kashiwa Reysol), Park Jung-woo (Guangzhou R&F), Son Heung-min (Bayer Leverkusen), Kim Bo-kyung (Cardiff City), Lee Chung-yong (Bolton Wanderers), Ji Dong-won (Augsburg).

Forwards: Koo Ja-cheol (Mainz), Lee Keun-ho (Sangju Sangmu), Park Chu-young (Arsenal), Kim Shin-wook (Ulsan Horang-i).

STAR MAN: Son Heung-min
Son’s unique mixture of providing stability in midfield whilst contributing to his club side Bayern Leverkusen with a number of vital goals in the 13/14 season make him South Korea’s stand out performer and star man this summer – watch this space.

HOT PROSPECT: Park Chu-Young
A player who Wenger must obviously have seen some substantial talent in but has unfortunately not been given enough exposure at the top level to show us what he is really made of. Will the 2014 world cup be his time to shine? We’ll have to watch and find out.

DARK HORSE: Ki Seung-Yueng
A consistent performer for both Swansea and Sunderland in the Barclays Premier League, Ki will definitely outshine any of the other midfielders in the South Korean squad and could even end up as the outright top goalscorer for the South Koreans in the 2014 world cup.

WHERE WILL THEY FINISH IN GROUP H? 2nd place

Russia:

Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Yury Lodygin (Zenit St Petersburg), Sergey Ryzhikov (Rubin Kazan).

Defenders: Vasili Berezutskiy (CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Granat (Dynamo Moscow), Andrey Eshchenko (Anzhi Makhachkala), Sergey Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow), Alexey Kozlov (Dynamo Moscow), Dmitry Kombarov (Spartak Moscow), Andrey Semenov (Terek Grozny), Georgi Schennikov (CSKA Moscow).

Midfielders: Denis Glushakov (Spartak Moscow), Igor Denisov (Dynamo Moscow), Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow), Yury Zhirkov (Dynamo Moscow), Alexey Ionov (Dynamo Moscow), Pavel Mogilevets (Rubin Kazan), Alexander Samedov (Lokomotiv Moscow), Victor Faizulin (Zenit St Petersburg), Oleg Shatov (Zenit St Petersburg).

Forwards : Maxim Kanunnikov (Amkar Perm), Alexander Kerzhakov (Zenit St Petersburg), Alexander Kokorin (Dynamo Moscow)

STAR MAN: Alan Dzagoev
A player whose rise to fame has seen him transform himself from being the Russian hot prospect back in South Africa in 2010 to their key component in midfield four years later. Fabio Capello tends to play Dzagoev every game and adaptability to play either in the centre of midfield or further forward takes less pressure off the Russian strikers and Dzagoev frequently performs in such a role with ease.

HOT PROSPECT: Alexander Kokorin
A fans favourite and a player who manager Fabio Capello has trusted on a number of times in the past whether it be off the bench or in a starting position. Many fellow blogs and articles are suggesting Kokorin could start for Russia in Brazil and given the opportunity, I’m more than confident he is talented enough to make the central striking position his own for a very long time.

DARK HORSE: Denis Glushakov
A player who goes relatively unnoticed for both club and country, Glushakov operates solidly from midfield providing constant support to the defenders who regularly distribute the ball to Denis as the first port of call. With the knowledge of having someone like Glushakov sat behind you, this allows the more attacking minded Russians to attack with a freedom they previously hadn’t been able to without such a player sat in reserve.

WHERE WILL THEY FINISH IN GROUP H? 3rd place

Algeria:

Goalkeepers: Rais Mbolhi (CSKA Sofia), Cedric Si Mohamed (CS Constantine), Mohamed Lamine Zemmamouche (USM Alger).

Defenders: Essaid Belkalem (Watford, on loan from Granada), Madjid Bougherra (Lekhwya Club), Liassine Cadamuro (Mallorca), Faouzi Ghoualm (Napoli), Rafik Halliche (Academica Coimbra), Aissa Mandi (Stade Reims), Carl Medjani (Valenciennes), Djamel Mesbah (Livorno), Mehdi Mostefa (AC Ajaccio).

Midfielders: Nabil Bentaleb (Tottenham), Yasine Brahimi (Granada), Medhi Lacen (Getafe), Saphir Taider (Inter Milan), Hassan Yebda (Udinese).

Forwards: Abdelmoumene Djabou (Club Africain), Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia), Nabil Ghilas (Porto), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City), Islam Slimani (Sporting Lisbon, Portugal), Hilal Soudani (Dinamo Zagreb).

STAR MAN: Sofiane Feghouli
A player who slightly lost his way at times for Valencia in the early stages of the 13/14 Liga BBVA season, Feghouli re-asserted himself as a first team starter over younger Fede Cartabia and has maintained this position for large parts towards the end of the season. For me Feghouli in first gear is the most dangerous player that manager Halilhodžić has at his disposal.

HOT PROSPECT: Nabil Bentaleb
A product of the youth system at Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur, former manager and keen admirer of Bentaleb, Tim Sherwood opted to gradually ease the youngster into first team football at the highest level and this is a job which Bentaleb has adapted to comfortably in his first real season of top flight English football.

DARK HORSE: Saphir Taider
A youngster who flirts in and out of an Internazionale side who are struggling to keep up the pace with the likes of Napoli and AC Milan as they coast clear in Serie A, albeit only a matter of years since they were so dominant in the Italian top flight under Jose Mourinho. Taider has shown glimpses of promise for Inter Milan on several occasions and a good personal 2014 World Cup could transform the Algerian into a household name in world football.

WHERE WILL THEY FINISH IN GROUP H? 4th place

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