On paper, there seems to be a wide gap between the top two teams in Group H and the bottom two.
Belgium and Russia are favored to advance into the knockout round, while South Korea and Algeria are projected to be left behind.
But the World Cup isn't played on paper and South Korea, in particular, has shown it can rise to the occasion on the world stage.
Belgium is a 4-7 favorite to win Group H, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, and is also a popular dark-horse pick to win the World Cup at 18-1. An injury to star striker Christian Benteke dampened the hype, but Romelu Lukaku should be able to shoulder the load upfront in his absence.
From goalkeeping to defending to midfield, Belgium is stacked with talent, and it has depth to help off of the bench as well. If Lukaku and the rest of the forward group can pick up the slack in Benteke's absence, this team is capable of making a deep run.
Russia has always been known as a strong attacking squad, and now, under head coach Fabio Capello, it has a strong defense to go along with that attack. That defense conceded only five goals throughout qualifying, turning what was once a weakness of the team into a strength.
Aleksandr Kokorin leads what should be an effective attack for Russia heading into World Cup action. A wager on the Russians to win Group H would pay 9-4.
While Belgium and Russia come into the group looking very strong, South Korea won't be an easy out at 15-2 to win Group H. The squad has advanced out of its group in two of its last three World Cup appearances and will try to do the same again here in 2014.
Bayer Leverkusen's Son Heung-min is a 21-year-old striker with excellent finishing talent who could make a name for himself sooner rather than later on the international stage. South Korea is slight underdogs to Russia to open the tournament June 17.
Algeria (22-1 to win Group H) figures to finish at the bottom of the group, but the team is by no means a pushover. There is plenty of young talent on the roster that has been developed through a stronger professional league on the homefront.
Algerian soccer seems to be headed in the right direction, but the question heading into this World Cup is whether or not the Algerians can get a head start on the future with a surprise result or two.
Stats, odds courtesy of Odds Shark and WorldCupOdds.net
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