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South Korea vs Portugal, FIFA World Cup 2022, Today Match Prediction

Al Rayyan, Education City Stadium

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Star

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South Korea have it all to do in final Group H match against already qualified Portugal

  • Portugal have already booked their place in the Round of 16 after two wins from two
  • South Korea are without a win so far and must beat Portugal to stand any chance
  • Ghana are up against Uruguay in the other game in this group

South Korea 1-1 Portugal

Tournament: FIFA World Cup 2022 | Venue: Al Rayyan, Education City Stadium

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Portugal have the luxury of knowing they’ll be in the Round of 16 before a ball is even kicked against South Korea, having claimed maximum points from games against Ghana and Uruguay.

Top spot is not yet guaranteed, however, so they’ll want to avoid defeat in this final game to avoid playing Brazil in the next round.

Regardless, you would expect them to put out a strong enough team to win the game, even if they do give one or two of their fringe players a chance from the outset.

South Korea have it all to do, on the other hand. With just one point to their name, from a 0-0 draw against Uruguay in their first game, they must win here and hope that Ghana do not beat Uruguay in their contest.

If Ghana draw their game, South Korea must win by two or more goals to ensure they have a better goal difference at the end of 90 minutes.

It’ll be a tense atmosphere.

South Korea Preview

FIFA Ranking: 28

Predicted Finish: Group Stage

Reasons to be cheerful:

     Beat Portugal in their previous World Cup meeting

     Could take advantage of Portugal rotating their squad

Reasons to be fearful:

     Have been eliminated the group stage in eight of their last 10 World Cups

     Struggled to break teams down at this tournament so far

South Korea may enter this game without key defender Kim Min-jae, who was taken off late on during their defeat to Ghana.

While South Korea must come out and win the game, they must also keep things tight at the back. If they go behind here, you fear for them.

Knowing that they must win the game, they must try and take command of the game. Portugal may rest several players, which could be a situation that the Koreans can take advantage of. 

Despite defeat, they will be pleased that several of their stars linked up nicely for their two goals against Ghana. Cho Gue-sung scored both with assists from Lee and Kim.

Star Man – Son Heung-min

Has been quiet at this tournament so far, with neither goal nor assist from South Korea’s two games. He needs better service from his teammates, but needs to turn it on here.

Portugal Preview

FIFA Ranking: 9

Predicted Finish: Quarter Finals

Reasons to be cheerful

     Only need a point to guarantee top spot

     Attacking players are among the best at the tournament

Reasons to be fearful

     Ronaldo is a 50/50 injury doubt for the game

     Won’t want to disrupt flow by making too many changes

Portugal have overcome two tough tests at this year’s World Cup, beating both Ghana and Uruguay to qualify for the knockout stages with a game to spare.

Cristiano Ronaldo has a goal to his name (although tried to claim another in the win over Uruguay), while Bruno Fernandes has two. Rafael Leao and Joao Felix have also got in on the act.

Manager Fernando Santos will be tempted to make wholesale changes to his side here, although that may not be wise. They wouldn’t want to lose to South Korea and potentially face Brazil in the next round.

We should expect to see the likes of Leao, Guerreiro and possibly Dalot from the start here, while Cristiano Ronaldo will face a late fitness test after missing a training session over the past couple of days.

Star Man – Bruno Fernandes

If Ronaldo isn’t fit to start the game, Bruno Fernandes is likely to captain his country and has been on form at this World Cup. The attacking midfielder has two goals and two assists to his name so far.

     Both teams to have chances

     South Korea must score first, you feel

     Koreans to fall just short

Whether or not Cristiano Ronaldo is fit to play here, you would expect Portugal to come through unscathed.

They may not be at their fluid best if they make a few changes, which is expected when fresh faces come into the team. 

South Korea will give it everything, you can be sure of that. You feel that there will be chances in the game for them, it’s just whether they can take enough of them.

A draw could be on the cards, which just isn’t enough for the Koreans.

South Korea 1-1 Portugal

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Author: Ross B.