The Matchday 3 fixtures of the FIFA World Cup 2022 are underway
Portugal are already through to the World Cup knockout stages but can seal the top spot in Group H when they face South Korea on the final day of group matches in the tournament. With two wins from two, things have gone pretty well for Portugal and they’ll fancy their chances against a South Korean side who have struggled at both ends of the field this winter.
South Korea kicked off their campaign with a goalless draw against Uruguay but suffered heartbreak against Ghana last time around as they fell to a 3-2 defeat. Korea is still in contention to qualify for the next round but needs to win by a margin of two goals and will also need the game between Ghana and Uruguay to end in a draw.
Kick off: 8.30 PM IST, 4:00 PM CET, 15:00/10:00 GMT/EST
South Korea Form(all competitions): D-W-W-D-L
Portugal Form(all competitions): W-L-W-W-W
Injury and team news
South Korea manager Paulo Bento a former Portugal international himself will be absent from the touchline for this one after English referee Anthony Taylor showed him a red card after the final whistle against Ghana.
The main injury concern is at left-back, where Nuno Mendes picked up a problem in the first half against Uruguay. He was in tears as he limped off, and even if he miraculously recovers in time, he’s unlikely to be risked anyway. Danilo Pereira and Otavio are also likely to be unavailable with injuries.
Players to watch
Son Heung Min
The Korean maestro will be key for his team to be able to get into the knockout stages of the tournament. Even though in recent times he has suffered from injuries but still he is performing his best for the team and can be a huge threat to the Portuguese team. He is a leader and in front of goals is very lethal, South Koreans will hope that he will give his best as this match is do or die for them.
Silva has been consistent, versatile and adaptive to his coach’s demands throughout this season. But you don’t see him make any major headlines. Perhaps that is yet more testament to his brilliance, though, as his work may seem pretty ordinary and even invisible to the untrained eye, but ask anyone who watches him closely on a day-to-day basis and they will absolutely start raving about him. He alongside Bruno Fernandes is the heart of the Portuguese midfield and throughout this tournament will play a very crucial role.
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South Korea: 1
South Korea predicted lineup (4-2-3-1):
Kim S-G; Kim M-H, Kim M-J, Kim Y-G, Kim J-S; Hwang I-B, Jung; Lee K-I, Na, Son H-M; Cho G-S
Portugal Predicted lineup (4-2-3-1):
Sa; Dalot, Silva, Dias, Guerreiro; Palhinha, Carvalho; Silva, Felix, Leao; Ronaldo
Taegeuk Warriors performed well against Ghana and are expected to put in a solid display against Portugal in their final group-stage game. Son Heung-min and co. can cause problems just ask Ghana. But finding a way through against Portugal is an entirely different issue and even a second-string Portugal side will be full of confidence heading into this one.
Even if Portugal takes their foot off the pedal somewhat, they should still stroll to a win here.
Prediction: South Korea 0-1 Portugal