South Korea vs Belgium: World Cup 2014 match preview

A look ahead to one of the group stage’s last matches in Sao Paulo

Belgium are set to face South Korea in a game where the Red Devils will be looking for a win to seal the first place and avoid playing perhaps the mighty Germans in the next round. The Taegeuk Warriors on the other hand are only focusing on a win that could send them through if Russia win or draw their match and get the South Korean’s desirable goal difference with Algeria.

Follow South Korea vs Russia live here

Belgium manager Marc Wilmots might save Zenit midfielder Axel Witsel and Atletico Madrid defender Toby Alderweireld who both have yellow cards and could face suspension ahead of the Round of 16. The Belgian boss is also considering doing the same with Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany who has been dealing with a strained groin that resulted in him missing three days of training.

It is ‘crunch time’ for the South Koreans as Hong Myung-Bo’s side need to toughen up ahead of this match and not expect any lucky breaks, like they got against Russia with Igor Akinfeev’s blunder. Korea Republic need to take advantage of the fact that Belgium will be saving a few key players and need to get the best out of the quartet up front that includes Swansea City midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng and former Arsenal forward Park Chu-Young.

 

KICK-OFF: Thursday, 9pm

PAST THREE MEETINGS:

South Korea 1 (Ko Jong-Su) Belgium 2 (Martens 2), International Friendly, June 1999

Belgium 1 (Nilis) South Korea 1 (Yoo Sang-Chul), World Cup, June 1998

Belgium 2 (Degryse, De Wolf) South Korea 0, World Cup, June 1990

STATS:

South Korea have never beaten Belgium.

The South Koreans have won only one of their last seven matches at the group stage of the World Cup.

All three of Belgium’s goals in this World Cup were scored by substitutes during the second half.

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has yet to experience international defeat as he has contributed in 13 wins and six draws.

ODDS:

South Korea to win: 5.0

Belgium to win: 1.75

Draw: 3.75

TV: Live on ITV at 9pm

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