Today’s Predictions: Sweden Vs South Korea
Sweden 1 – 0 South Korea
The 11th match of the FIFA World Cup 2018 will take place between Sweden and South Korea, in what could be an intense match up between two evenly matched sides.
- Date : 18th June 2018
- Time :5:30 PM (IST)
- Venue : Nizhny Novgorad Stadium
Both these teams are regulars at the World Cup, with this being Sweden’s 12th appearance and South Korea’s 10th.
FIFA World Cup Qualification
Sweden created the biggest stir during the World Cup qualification phase by knocking out 2006 Champions and group favourites Italy, undoubtedly the highest profile nation not playing in this World Cup. They were the strongest side defensively and kept 7 clean sheets in 10 matches. This led them to finish second in a tough group also containing France, and they eventually won their playoff match against Italy, to qualify for the finals.
South Korea had a roller coaster qualification ride, with some arguing that they did not merit their place at the World Cup. They won just 4 out of their 10 qualifiers, and goalless draws against unfancied teams like Iran and Uzbekistan was a grave concern for their fans. They eventually limped over to the World Cup, having sacked their manager with two games to go.
Sweden haven’t been able to carry forward their brilliant qualifers’ form to their recent international friendlies in preparation for the World Cup. They haven’t won as single game in their last 4 matches, with defeats to Chile and Romania, and goalless draws against Denmark and Peru. This means the fan are worried with the squad’s form going into the tournament, however the manager has assured that things are under control as he has been trying several formations and strategies.
South Korea have had a comparatively better record in recent weeks, with 2 wins, 3 defeats and a goalless draw in their last 6 matches. An exciting match against Poland ended with a 3-2 defeat, while Honduras were dispatched 2-0 after that. However a big defeat against Bosnia And Herzegovina has got fans worried about their form.
Head To Head Record
These two nations have met thrice before, with all 3 being friendly internationals. South Korea have the upper hand with the decisive win in 1996, while their last matches ended in a draw.
Sweden are going to be without their most dynamic player in history as Zlatan Ibrahimovic had retired from international football a year ago. He will undoubtedly by a huge miss in the tournament. Their qualifying hero who scored the all important winner against Italy in the play off, Jakob Johannson, is also out with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
South Korea have no real injury problems going into the tournament, while Heung-Min Son is arguably going to be the most high profile footballer in this match, and keeping him fit would be extremely crucial for South Korea. Prominent Premier League player Lee Chung-yong failed to make the final 23 man squad, and is one of the notable absentees.
Players To Watch Out For
Sweden do have a bunch of stalwarts who have been carrying the national flag high even after the retirement of the legendary Zlatan. Their most valuable player is undoubtedly Emil Forsberg, with the attacking midfielder responsible for their entire attacking gameplay. Captain Andreas Granqvist has been a defensive rock for more than a decade and will keep things tight at the back.
Heung-Min Son will be looking to carry forward his impeccable domestic form for Tottenham Hotspurs to this World Cup. Ki Sung-yeung is also approaching 100 matches for his country and his composure is very important in the middle of the park. Debutant Hwang Hee-chan is expected to be amongst the goals after a successful season in the Bundesliga.
Sweden Vs South Korea Key Statistics
- These two teams are quite evenly matched on paper, however Sweden has a world ranking of 23 while South Korea is not ranked in the top 60 nations. This, along with the fact that Sweden would be playing in much more favourable conditions means that they are slight favourites over their Asian counterparts.
- This is Sweden’s 12th World Cup appearance, while South Korea have reached this stage 10 times. Sweden could not qualify for the last two World Cups, however South Korea are mainstays in this competition, being one of the strongest Asian teams in recent times.
- Sweden kept 7 clean sheets during qualifying, while South Korea had trouble scoring in their last few qualifiers. Hence, we strongly recommend betting on the both teams not to score market, as well as the under 2.5 goals market.
Even though both these teams have their fair share of dependable players, their rankings are very different, and Sweden are expected to gain an advantage by playing in similar climatic conditions so close to their nation. We believe a close win for Sweden is on the card and would advise a bet on the 1-0 score line.
Our Predicted Scoreline : Sweden 1 – 0 South Korea.