WORLD CUP PREVIEW

AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

WORLD CUP PREVIEW Mon: Brazil v South Korea

Brazil are still favourites for World Cup glory with bookmakers as we enter the Round of 16 but there have been few easy games in Qatar, and they could be drawn into a battle with South Korea.

The Samba Stars – 9/4 to take their sixth world title – topped a tricky section with deserved wins over Serbia (2-0) and Switzerland (1-0) followed by an unlucky defeat against Cameroon in the final game, when a much-changed side dominated the game (won shot count 21-7, xG count 3.14 – 0.88) but lost thanks to Vincent Aboubakar’s smash and grab header.

They topped the group on goal difference in the end, but they were superior in all three of their games and have shown arguably the best balance between defence and attack all tournament. Alisson is one of the best goalkeepers in the tournament, Thiago Silva and Marquinhos are elite centre-backs, Casemiro provides protection at the base of midfield and upfront the Selecao have Richarlison, Vinicius Junior, Raphina, Rodrygo and Gabriel Martinelli to choose from upfront.

It’s a potent mix – one that was too strong for their first two opponents – but it hs taken time for their class to show through in both wins and fans expecting an easy ride here could be in for a shock. It took Brazil 62 minutes to get past Serbia’s low block and Casemiro’s winner against the Swiss came in the 83rd minute, whilst Cameroon managed to keep them scoreless, albeit with no amount of luck considering the chances that

There’s also the issue of injuries for Brazil. Tite’s squad is the deepest here but there’s no doubting they’d have preferred to start with Neymar – still on the side-lines after an ankle injury suffered in the first game – and the loss of Gabriel Jesus and Alex Telles for the tournament is a blow.

Trader’s View: “We are hoping to get Brazil knocked out, but face a mountainous challenge. They are a bad result but not our worst. They are 5/6 -1 in the 3 way handicap, which could be quite popular amongst our punters. Don’t think Korea will sit back and try to park the bus. Think they could be dangerous on the counter-attack. Cameroon caught them on the counter the other day so it is possible. Could be plenty of goals in an end-to-end game.”

Brazil v South Korea
FIFA World Cup 2022 Last-16
19:00 Live on ITV One HD / ITV Player

LAST FIVE STATS

HEAD-TO-HEAD
MAR 1999 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY South Korea 1-0 Brazil
NOV 2002 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY South Korea 2-3 Brazil
OCT 2013 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY South Korea 0-2 Brazil
NOV 2019 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Brazil 3-0 South Korea
JUN 2022 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY South Korea 1-5 Brazil

BRAZIL
JUN 2022 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Japan 0-1 Brazil
SEP 2022 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Brazil 3-0 Ghana
SEP 2022 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Brazil 5-1 Tunisia
NOV 2022 FIFA WORLD CUP Brazil 2-0 Serbia
NOV 2022 FIFA WORLD CUP Brazil 1-0 Switzerland
NOV 2022 FIFA WORLD CUP Cameroon 1-0 Brazil

SOUTH KOREA
JUL 2022 EAST ASIAN CHAMPIONSHIP China 0-3 South Korea
JUL 2022 EAST ASIAN CHAMPIONSHIP South Korea 3-0 Hong Kong
NOV 2022 WORLD CUP Uruguay 0-0 South Korea
NOV 2022 WORLD CUP South Korea 2-3 Ghana
NOV 2022 WORLD CUP South Korea 2-1 Portugal

South Korea, 5/2 to qualify for this stage beforehand, defied the odds to progress through a tight group thanks to a late winner against Portugal to qualify on goals scored. That may seem like a smash and grab but they created plenty during the group stages and were unlucky not to beat Ghana in their second game beforehand.

There were form and fitness fears over talisman Son Heung-min beforehand but he played a key role in their victory against Portugal and he’s been well supported by Lee Kang-in and Kim Jin-su on either flanks.

South Korea also made excellent use of Cho Gue-sung in the second half against Ghana when he caused havoc in the second half, and they have options to play out wide and also through the middle on the counter too.

They will need to find a new level against Brazil, but with Alex Telles out, Alex Sandro struggling with hip pain, and Danilo recovering from a sprained ankle, Tite’s men could be vulnerable down the left side, especially with Son and Lee Kang possibly doubling up on Brazil’s exposed flank.

The layers expect Brazil to make short work of South Korea but the gap between the pair in the market looks too big. South Korea played better than their points tally suggested in Group B and whilst they faced a much-changed Portugal, their victory was not undeserved and their high energy pressing game could cause problems for the favourites.

Brazil have shown a great balance between defence and attack during the World Cup so far and they’ll need to do so again against a side with plenty of pace on the flanks too. The South Koreans are worth backing on the handicaps here; a two goal start on the Asian Handicap means Brazil would need to win by three for our bet to lose.

WILLIAM KEDJANYI


RECOMMENDED BETS

BACK South Korea +2 on Asian Handicap 8pts at 8/15 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)


PROFIT/LOSS (WORLD CUP 2022): LOSS 23.83 points (after matches on Sun 4 Dec, includes TWO GOOD bonus on CAMEROON v SERBIA 28 Nov)
(Will include returns from both the OUTRIGHT and SPECIALS previews too)


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