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BELGIUM’S BACK

Like Fabio Capello, Belgium coach Marc Wilmots is also already looking beyond the first round.

The Red Devils might still be too young to reap the rewards of their talent, but there will be no waiting once they get to Brazil.

Perhaps the most exciting player of the group is Eden Hazard. The Chelsea playmaker has seen his stock rise during a standout season with Chelsea and an easy first-round group can do wonders for a player looking for recognition on the biggest stage.

Belgium starts out against Algeria and a solid performance against a team which likely will throw everything back in defense could quickly turn Hazard into a big name, with momentum going his way.

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THE OUTSIDERS

Losing the first game to Belgium is not exactly how the Algerians see their World Cup.

Four years ago, they held England to a scoreless draw but still went out in the group stage. Looking further back, 1982 should provide even more inspiration.

Algeria beat West Germany in its opening World Cup game, but a controversial result later in the round contrived to eliminate the north Africans. The bitterness of that experience remains, and every Algerian fan knows the team is still out for revenge.

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AFTER EASY COMES DIFFICULT

Even if Group H seems easy, the rest of the way in the tournament will be anything but.

After the group matches, the road will lead to the top teams from Group G, arguably the toughest of the tournament. And if Germany advances as expected, any of the other group teams - Portugal, Ghana and the United States - will also be a tough opponent in the round of 16.

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