Russia vs Korea Republic: World Cup 2014 match preview

A look ahead to the final match of the group stage openers at Cuiaba

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The Independent Football

The World Cup openers come to a close on Tuesday night when Russia clash with South Korea in a place that will feature unfamiliar conditions for the Russians who are used to much lower temperatures in Eastern Europe.

LIVE: Follow the latest news from Russia v South Korea

IFormer England manager Fabio Capello will be looking for a better campaign than four years ago and may feel more confident this time around after qualifying ahead of Portugal. The Russians won seven matches and lost two fixtures to Portugal and Northern Ireland on the way to Brazil.

The Italian boss will be missing the services of midfielder and team captain Roman Shirokov who will be absent from the entire competition because of an Achilles tendon injury. Rubin Kazan’s Pavel Mogilevets has taken his place and now much will be expected from former Chelsea left-winger Yuri Zhirkov. Dynamo Moscow striker Aleksandr Kokorin is expected to start up front instead of Zenit’s Aleksandr Kerzhakov.  

South Korea would love to repeat their impressive 2002 campaign in which they reached the semi-finals on home soil,  but their four losses in their last five warm-up matches suggests they might struggle. Manager Hong Myung-Bo is not facing any injury problems and is expected to start Swansea midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng as well as former Arsenal man Park Chu-Young and Bayer Leverkusen’s Son Heung-Min up front.


KICK-OFF: Tuesday, 11pm




Russia 2 (Smolov, Tarasov) South Korea 1 (Kim Shin-Wook), International Friendly, November 2013



Fabio Capello's last match at the World Cup was England’s heaviest defeat in the competition against Germany in South Africa.

The match will take place just one hour before Capello’s 68th birthday.

South Korea's best record in the World Cup occurred in 2002 when the country co-hosted the competition with Japan and the national team finished fourth. The squad’s captain back then was current manager Hong Myung-Bo, who also holds the record of 136 appearances.

Ever since the Soviet Union broke up, Russia have only featured in two World Cup finals in 1994 and 2002 where they could not qualify at the Round of 16. 


Russia to win: 2.26

South Korea to win: 3.75

Draw: 3.35


TV: Live on BBC One at 11pm