Sweden vs Korea Republic – Preview, Predictions and Betting Tips
This match is over. Final score is: 1 – 0
Next Sweden match: Germany vs Sweden
Next South Korea match: South Korea vs Mexico
Sweden face up against the Korea Republic in a potentially crucial Group F clash in the 2018 FIFA World Cup at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod.
Holders Germany are strong favourites to win the group while Mexico are considered second strongest, so both sides face an almost must-win game to start their campaign.
These two sides have played each other three times but never competitively, with the latest meeting a 2-2 draw in a November 2005 friendly.
South Korea are into their ninth consecutive World Cup finals but have progressed beyond the group stages only twice in that time.
One of those was particularly memorable, as they reached the semi-finals in their co-hosted tournament in 2002. Their main player this time is Tottenham forward Son Heung-min.
Sweden, who finished third in 1994, are into their first finals in 12 years and caused a shock by eliminating three-time champion Italy in the qualification playoff.
Neither side will be confident of progressing through this group but Sweden will enter this game as favourites, despite indifferent form of both.
Sweden required a playoff to advance but did so by edging out Italy – an iconic World Cup side – to book their place, while Korea finished second in their qualification group but a distant seven points off Iran.
The Scandinavian side are favourites to win this one, with William Hill offering odds of 11/10 of them to secure victory.
Sweden have managed to find the net just four times in their last seven outings, with the side struggling to replace the goal threat Zlatan Ibrahimovic once provided.
Korea Republic do not have similar problems but generally have faced ‘weaker’ opposition and have kept eight clean sheets in their last 18 fixtures.
However, with both teams realising the importance of this they could both open up so odds of 13/10 on over 2.5 goals seems a secure bet.
- Only two Sweden players have netted double figures in international goals – Marcus Berg (18) and Ola Toivenen (13)
- Berg top scorer for Sweden at the World Cup at 5/2 with bet365
- There are only three players aged under 25 in the Swedes squad, with 11 aged 28 or older
- Only six of Korea Republic’s squad are not based in Asia
- Spurs forward Son Heung-min is their top international scorer with 21 goals in 47 caps
- Son to score first against Sweden is 13/2 with 888sport
Sweden: Andreas Granqvist (captain), Robin Olsen, Mikael Lustig, Victor Lindelöf, Martin Olsson, Ludwig Augustinsson, Sebastian Larsson, Albin Ekdal, Marcus Berg, Emil Forsberg, John Guidetti, Karl-Johan Johnsson, Gustav Svensson, Filip Helander, Oscar Hiljemark, Emil Krafth, Viktor Claesson, Pontus Jansson, Marcus Rohdén, Ola Toivonen, Jimmy Durmaz, Isaac Kiese Thelin, Kristoffer Nordfeldt.
South Korea: Ki Sung-yueng (captain), Kim Seung-gyu, Lee Yong, Jung Seung-hyun, Oh Ban-suk, Yun Young-sun, Park Joo-ho, Son Heung-min, Ju Se-jong, Kim Shin-wook, Lee Seung-woo, Hwang Hee-chan, Kim Min-woo, Koo Ja-cheol, Hong Chul, Jung Woo-young, Lee Jae-sung, Moon Seon-min, Kim Young-gwon, Jang Hyun-soo, Kim Jin-hyeon, Go Yo-han, Cho Hyun-woo.