FIFA World Cup: Friday 2 December

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Ghana vs Uruguay

2 December 2022

BCA Prediction: Belgium win or draw (X2)

Uruguay are yet to score at this World Cup , and they find themselves bottom of Group H having taken one point from their first 2 games. Diego Alonso’s side must abandon the cautious approach that has seen them remain goalless, as they now find themselves needing to win here. Goal difference could end up as a factor in the group should South Korea beat Portugal, so we can expect a much more positive showing from Uruguay. With Luis Suarez, Darwin Nunez, and Edinson Cavani on their roster, it would be counter-productive to write off their scoring chances in a must-win fixture.

A point could be enough for Ghana to secure qualification in Group H and they have finally been afforded the opportunity to avenge their controversial 2010 World Cup exit, and the Black Stars are expected to go for broke. Five goals have been scored in each of Ghana’s opening two Group H matches, and the Black Stars are expected to adopt a similar gung-ho approach against Uruguay, on Friday. Overall, there have been 23 goals scored in their last eight competitive games.

Luis Suarez was dropped for Uruguay’s last match against Portugal but is expected to return to the starting line-up in this match, and he will be hoping to be Ghana’s nemesis once again. Suarez was Uruguay’s top scorer in their World Cup qualifying campaign, scoring 8 times – only Bolivia’s, Marcelo Moreno (10), outscored Suarez in the South American qualification group. With Ghana adopting a very positive approach so far and Uruguay having to win to secure qualification, we expect goals in this match.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ten goals have been scored in Ghana’s opening two Group H matches
  • There have been 23 goals scored in Ghana’s last eight competitive games
  • Luis Suarez scored 8 times in Uruguay’s World Cup qualification campaign

South Korea vs Portugal

2 December 2022

BCA Prediction: Over 1.5 goals

South Korea desperately needs a win to stand any chance of qualifying from World Cup 2022 Group H, but beating Portugal could prove too big a mountain to climb. The Korean side conceded 3 times against Ghana and were lucky to get away with a point against Uruguay in the first round of games.  They have now lost three consecutive competitive matches having not lost any of the previous twelve before that.

Portugal have the top spot in Group H in their sights, and they only need a point to secure it. The Selecao das Quinas earned a 2-0 win over Uruguay thanks to a Fernandes brace and played out a thrilling 3-2 win over Ghana in their opener. They have now scored 21 goals in their last ten competitive fixtures, so we can expect them to keep the goals flowing here. They showed some defensive vulnerability in both games, and Korea scored in ten of their last 12 games, so this looks like an exciting clash. 

Cristiano Ronaldo has his eyes fixed on increasing his World Cup goals tally, so Fernando Santos may be reluctant to drop him here. Even if they face a rotated Portugal front line, the chances that South Korea are they will be unable to keep their opponents at bay are quite slim as there are other fantastic attacking talents like Joao Felix, Rafael Leao, and Bruno Fernandes waiting to take centre stage. Fernandes has scored five goals, and assisted three more in his last five appearaces for Portugal, and looks in top form.

Key Takeaways:

  • South Korea have scored in ten of their last 12 matches.
  • Portugal conceded twice to Ghana in their World Cup opener.
  • Bruno Fernandes has had eight goal involvements in his last five Portugal appearances.

Cameroon vs Brazil

2 December 2022

BCA Prediction: Brazil win

Cameroon played their part in one of the best games of the World Cup so far last time out as they rallied from two goals down to draw 3-3 against Serbia. However, following their defeat to Switzerland in the opening round,, they need to beat Group G leaders Brazil to have any hope of making it out of the Group Stage. Considering that they struggled to dominate any of those two games, it would take a monumental effort for them to get the win they need here.

Brazil’s win over Switzerland in round two was earned courtesy of a late Casemiro strike, and they can be confident of topping the group with a result in Lusail on Friday. While a lot has been said of their devastatingly talented attacking players, Tite has this side keeping it incredibly tight at the back as well and that could put them in good stead the further we go into this competition. They are yet to allow their opponents a shot on target so far, and they have kept 12 clean sheets in the 17 undefeated matches since their Copa America Final defeat last year.

The Selecao have won ten of these 17 games to nil, and we are backing them to make it 11 on Friday. Tite may decide to rest some players on Friday, but Richarlison must be considered in the anytime goalscorer market if he starts. He has scored nine goals in his last eight appearances for Brazil, and no player has scored more Brazil goals since he made his debut in 2018.

Key Takeaways:

  • Brazil are unbeaten in 17 games and have won ten of those to nil.
  • Brazil are yet to face a shot on target in the 2022 World Cup.
  • Richarlison has scored nine goals in his last eight appearances for Brazil

Serbia vs Switzerland

2 December 2022

BCA Prediction: Switzerland win or draw (X2)

Serbia were seen by many as a potential dark-horse at the 2022 World Cup but find themselves sitting at the bottom of Group G, having taken one point from their first 2 matches. Dragan Stojkovic’s side now have to win here to qualify, which could bring the best out of his hugely talented squad. Even though they struggled to impress against Brazil and Cameroon, Serbia have still lost only two of their last 20 competitive matches. They have scored twenty-one goals In the last ten of those games, so they are a side that offers plenty of excitement going forward.

Switzerland currently sits second in Group G and have their destiny in their own hands heading into their final group game. Despite sitting pretty, Switzerland have been largely underwhelming in Qatar. Murat Yakin’s side failed to impress in their group opener against Cameroon and were lucky to record a 1-0 victory after Cameroon spurned a few chances in the first half. Switzerland didn’t muster a shot on target against Brazil and now faces a Serbia team who knows nothing less than a victory will see them bow out of the competition.

Aleksandar Mitrovic scored his first goal of the tournament in Serbia’s 3-3 draw against Cameroon, and the Fulham striker could be the man to fire his nation into the Last 16. Mitrovic has scored seven times in Serbia’s last seven competitive matches and was the top scorer in Serbia’s qualifying group, scoring eight times in their eight group matches. Up against a Switzerland side with only 2 clean sheets in their last eight competitive fixtures, he will be relishing linking up with Dusan Tadic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, and Dusan Vlahovic to get the goals to secure the needed 3 points.

Key Takeaways:

  • Serbia have lost only two of their last 20 competitive matches
  • Switzerland didn’t record a shot on target in their last Group G game against Brazil
  • Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored seven times in Serbia’s last seven competitive matches.

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