South Korea odds to qualify from Group H – 15/8 any takers?

A young South Korea side will be looking to leave their mark on Brazil, after qualifying for an eighth consecutive tournament.

Manager: Hong Myung-Bo
World Cup best:
Fourth Place (2002)
How they qualified:
Second place finish in Asian Qualifying Group A

South Korea gave blowing a brilliant position in qualifying a good go and nearly fell into the play-offs after a final day defeat to Iran.

Having led Group A for the majority of qualifying, a late 1-1 draw in Lebanon turned out to be the important point, otherwise they would have failed to reach Brazil.

Star player: Ki Seung-yeung (Sunderland)

Ki Seung-yeung spent the season on loan at Sunderland after failing to cement his place in the Swansea side.

At national level though he is a key player for South Korea’s and his pace and energy is vital to how they play.

One to watch: Son Heung-min (Bayer Leverkusen)

Already known to the majority of Europe, Son Heung-min is amazingly still just 21 years of age.

After breaking onto the scene with Hamburg, impressive performances earned him a move to Bayer Leverkusen.

His goal ratio is better at club level and he may need to be the man to score the goals if Korea are to qualify from Group H.

Strengths
There won’t be many fitter sides at the tournament than South Korea and they hope their frenetic approach will see them qualify.

They proved in the Olympics (although slightly different side) they can keep the ball too, out-passing Great Britain, before winning on penalties.

Weaknesses
Like their Asian rivals Japan, their back four and keeper aren’t much to shout about.

Nearly half of their goals conceded during qualifying came from set pieces and the likes of Fabio Capello’s Russia will look to take advantage of that.

How far can they go?
South Korea are unlikely to get anywhere near their best World Cup performance, which occurred on home soil 12 years ago.

A repeat showing of four years prior though is a realistic goal, although their game with Russia will go a long way to determining how they do.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Jung Sung-ryeong, Kim Seung-gyu, Lee Bom-young

Defenders: Kim Jin-soo, Yun Suk-young, Kim Young-kwon, Hwang Seok-ho, Hong Jeong-ho, Kwak Tae-hwi, Lee Yong, Kim Chang-soo

Midfielders: Ki Seung-yeung, Ha Dae-sung, Han Kook-young, Park Jung-woo, Son Heung-min, Kim Bo-kyung, Lee Chung-yong, Ji Dong-won

Forwards: Koo Ja-cheol, Lee Keun-ho, Park Chu-young, Kim Shin-wook

Group H
Belgium
Algeria
Russia
South Korea

Fixtures

Tuesday 17th June: Russia vs. South Korea 23:00
Sunday 22nd June: South Korea vs. Algeria 20:00
Thursday 26nd June: South Korea vs. Belgium 21:00

 

Lewis Jones has over 5 years experience in web publishing, having worked at a number of well known UK facing sports websites. He can be reached at Google+ for more information.

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