Best Odds: 29/10
We are motoring through the group stage of the FIFA World Cup with just a handful of fixtures remaining until we reach the stress and anxiety of the knockouts. We already know half of the line-up for the last 16 and in the next few days, that roster is going to fill up pretty quickly. Today, we’re taking a look at what has the potential to be a barnburner between South Korea and Portugal.
South Korea have the kind of ‘going out on your sword’ mentality that is always going to get them into trouble from time to time. In equal measure, though, it’s also pretty exciting to think that they can pop up with a surprise performance out of absolutely nowhere. They need to win this game and hope Ghana don’t get a big result, but in reality, all they need to do is focus on themselves.
Hwang is the only fitness concern as his hamstring injury continues to put his participation in doubt.
Despite a few outings that have been littered with questionable mistakes, Portugal still find themselves sat at the top of the table with maximum points to their name. They have a controversial talisman, a whole lot of attacking talent, and the kind of strength in depth that’ll bode well for them later in the tournament – but does that mean they can finally go all the way on the big stage?
In addition to expected rotations, Portugal also have to deal with confirmed absentees in the form of Pereira, Mendes and Otavio.
Factors to Consider
- In their only previous meeting, South Korea beat Portugal 1-0 at the 2002 World Cup.
- South Korea have drawn one and lost one of their games so far.
- Portugal have won both of their games so far.
- South Korea have scored two goals and conceded three.
- Portugal have scored five goals and conceded two.
We’re expecting to see Portugal put out a weakened team given that they’ve already qualified for the last 16 which, as we saw with Tunisia and France, can be a good thing for South Korea. Alas, while they may have a lot of grit, there’s a whole lot of pressure on this game and we think that’ll get to them. We’re predicting a 1-1 draw with the South Koreans exiting despite a spirited effort.
Best Odds: 29/10