Sweden and South Korea begin their World Cup adventure on Monday, with both nations knowing they are likely to need a win in order to progress to the last 16 considering Germany and Mexico are in the group. Both sides have their limitations and it should be a tight, cagey affair, although there will be star quality on the pitch.
Both have a solid defensive structure, with Emil Forsberg the main man for Sweden going forward and Son Heung-min for the South Koreans. It’s sure to be fine margins that separate the two sides on Monday, whether it’s a bit of magic from the star men or a goal from a set-piece.
Here we will give you Sweden vs South Korea betting tips, look at where the game will be won, the key players and a Sweden vs South Korea prediction for the Group C encounter.
Our Sweden vs South Korea Prediction: Sweden 1-1 South Korea
Our Sweden vs South Korea prediction tips is for a close game between the sides that ends up in a draw – a result that isn’t ideal for either nation.
The reality is these are two sides that are short on goalscorers in the final third. They generally are teams that look to counter, are cautious in their appraoch and will rely on moments of individual magic or mistakes. Sweden are direct in their style and South Korea will have to stand up to that physicality but if they manage to do so there isn’t much to worry them. Forsberg is the star on the left and he will have to be closed down at every opportunity otherwise he could make the difference.
Similarly, whilst South Korea aren’t direct, they are limited. They can keep the ball well and will look to make spaces but Sweden are well organised and they are good enough to stop their opponents on Monday playing through them. Therfore, we’re not expecting a classic but with Son Heung-min in the side they have their own quality player who can turn a game. The Spurs man is well-known to English fans and has so much quality.
Our recommended tip – Draw
We predicted 1-1 but we could easily see this game finishing goalless too, so a draw is a smart bet for this Group F clash in Nizhny Novgorod.
As we’ve stressed, these are two pretty average sides that do have quality players but we expect them to cancel each other out. Additionally, whilst it isn’t a great result for either side, it should also ensure both have a chance of progressing in the final group game. That ‘do not lose’ mentality could take over as the second half approaches and this could be a pretty dull draw.
The game on Monday will be only the fourth meeting between these two nations and their first competitive clash. Sweden hold the edge in previous games, winning the first match in 1995 whilst they drew two friendlies back in 2005.
Worryingly for both countries, they head to Russia in very poor form. Sweden failed to win in their most recent four warm up matches, and didn’t score in their last three games. What will concern the European side is that they didn’t really play top opposition, coming up against Chile, Romania, Denmark and Peru.
Similarly, South Korea haven’t done well either. They have won one of six friendly games arranged since March and have also failed to score in their last two against a poor Bolivia side and Senegal.
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Players to watch – Emil Forsberg & Son Heung-min
We’ve already covered who the standout players are for this fixture and a lot of responsibility will be on the pairs shoulders. Forsberg is a very creative midfielder, who will start on the left but will always look to cut inside and is capable of picking a killer pass or scoring from range. Whilst he didn’t have the best season for Leipzig, the 26-year old will be ready to make a big impact and certainly has the ability to worry the South Korean side.
For South Korea, the key man is also obvious and Son will be pivotal if his country are to have any sort of success at Russia this summer. He can play in any forward positions and will be given a license to roam and find space although he will probably start on the left. His pace, power and skill makes him a major threat to Sweden on Monday.