|World Cup 2014|
| South Korea
ScheduleThursday, 26 June 2014 at 20:00 GMT / 21:00 UK / 01:30 IST
VenueArena de São Paulo (São Paulo)
Next Thursday, Korea will take on Belgium at Arena de São Paulo in the Brazilian namesake city, on a match that in case of win might still offer the Korean side a place on the next stage of the competition.
After a surprising 1-1 draw with Russia for their World Cup’s opening match, Korea was severely hammered by Algeria last Sunday and may have seriously compromise their chances of proceeding to the next round of the competition. Korea put up a solid defensive performance against the Russians and seemed to have wiped clear all the criticism concerning their recent poor defensive displays. Although, on the match against Algeria, Korea were somewhat surprised by the attacking flow of the North African team and exposed, once again, the frailties of their defensive wall. With five goals conceded in just two matches, the Korean team desperately needs to find an adequate balance between their attacking movements and their defensive performances and probably the match against Belgium is not the more adequate to do such thing.
For the match against Belgium next Thursday, Korea’s head coach, Hong Myungbo, will probably have all of his players at his disposal since there aren't’ currently any names on the team’s injury list or any suspended players.
As for Belgium, the match against Korea will certainly only serve to confirm their position at the top of Group H table. After a narrow and very difficult win against Algeria, Belgium failed once again to produce anything very special on the match against Russia last Sunday. The Russians, in fact, controlled large periods of the match, while the Belgians only produced something similar to what they did during the qualification round in the last 10 or 15 minutes of the match. The goal from their powerful forward Origi offered them a late win but that probably wasn’t enough to sell their underachieving performances to pundits and supporters alike.
For the match against Korea, Marc Wilmots will certainly implement several changes in his team, by bringing in some quality footballers that have not yet played during this tournament so far, such as Steven Defour, Januzaj, and Lombaerts.
Belgium are favourites to win the next Thursday’s match and thusly end the group with three wins, as Korea don’t seem to have what is necessary to defeat such a well organized side as Belgium.
Stats: W-1 L-3 D-1
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Stats: W-4 L-0 D-1
Recent Form - WWWWD
Korea Republic (4-4-1-1) - Jung - Lee - Kim - Hong - Yun - Lee Yong - Ki - Han - Koo Ja-Cheol - Son Heung-Min - Park
Belgium (4-3-3) - Courtois - Alderweireld - Kompany - Lombaerts - Vertonghen - Defour - Dembele - Fellaini - Januzaj - Mirallas - Origi