Potent Spain and hotshots Chile give Group H goalscoring X factor
With a whopping 28 goals notched, Spain finished as Europe’s second top scorers in World Cup qualifying (behind only England) as they won a flawless ten from ten.
Add to that group rivals Chile – who grabbed an impressive 32 goals in South American qualifying, just one behind scoring leaders Brazil – and there’s reason to believe that Group H will see the highest number of goals in South Africa, despite the appearance of shot-shy Switzerland and minnows Honduras.
Group H is priced alongside Brazil’s Group G, at 9/2, to finish as the highest scoring group, but while many will fancy North Korea’s inclusion in the latter to help the goals fly in, the Koreans have conceded over two goals in a game only once in two and a half years.
Instead, history favours the table housing the ruthless Spanish. In 2006, their group was one of three to finish highest on 18 goals, and that was despite it including Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Ukraine.
In 2002, Spain were again involved in a goal-happy group, with their nine goals helping Group B reach a whopping 22 strikes – more than any other. Even in failure in 1998, when they failed to reach the second round, only eventual winners France outscored them in the groups.
Their last five games have seen 18 goals scored, Fernando Torres will be fit, David Villa on form, and they’ve even helpfully managed to concede six too, suggesting that they won’t be the only ones scoring regularly in Group H.
Certainly not with the Chileans around, who have grabbed seven in their last three and whose striker Humberto Suazo finished as top scorer in qualifying ahead of Luis Fabiano – though his fitness concerns will need to be monitored.