Spain vs South Korea:
Date: Wednesday, 1 June 2016;
Kick-off: 15:30 GMT,
Venue: Wals-Siezenheim (Austria).
Spain continue their preparations for Euro 2016 with a friendly against Asian giants South Korea at the Red Bull Arena in Wals-Siezenheim (Austria) on Wednesday evening.
The La Furia Roja got back to winning ways in their last game against Bosnia-Herzegovina after being held to a draw in each of their last two games. There is plenty of positives from that performance for Del Bosque after missing a number of key players due to the Champions League final between Real and Atletico on Saturday night. There is also enough dilemma for the veteran coach as he must now decide which two players are to be omitted from his 25-men preliminary squad.
South Korea are coming on the back of some excellent form. They haven’t conceded a goal in their last 10 games and won in each of their last 9 matches. This Korean side has plenty of experience at their squad captained by Swansea midfielder Ki Sung-yueng. But the 23 year old Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min is unarguably the most exciting player in the squad, but Porto striker Suk Hyun-jun is the player to watch on Wednesday’s friendly.
Spain Predicted Line-up (4-3-3)
Azpilicueta, Bartra, San Jose, Bellerin;
Fabregas, Thiago, Asensio;
Silva, Nolito, Morata.
South Korea Predicted Line-up (4-3-2-1)
Lee Yong, Jeong-ho, Hyun-soo, Kim Kee-hee;
Ki Sung-yueng, Woo-Young Jung, Han Kook-young;
Ji Dong-won, Son Heung-min;
Spain vs South Korea: Head-to-Head Stats
Spain and South Korea had met on a football ground on 5 previous occasions, with Spain leading the head-to-head with 3 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss. But Korea are yet to beat Spain in a football match inside the regulation 90 minutes.
The first three meetings between the two sides were in FIFA World Cup, the first being in 1990, where Spain won it 3-1 with ease. The teams met again at the group stages of 1994 FIFA World Cup in USA, in a thrilling match where Korea came from behind to score twice in the last five minutes to hold Spain to a 2-2 draw. The third meeting was at the Quarter Finals of 2002 edition in Korea, where the hosts won it on penalty shoot-out under controversial circumstances.
Spain were victorious in two friendlies since then, the latest being a 4-1 win in 2012 at a neutral venue in Bern.
Spain vs South Korea: Prediction
The matches between these two sides in the past have produced some exciting and entertaining encounters. Spain have never lost to Korea inside full 90 minutes in a football match, the stats in 5 meetings reading 3 wins and 2 draws. And Korea will be desperate to break the jinx on Wednesday evening.
Despite this being a friendly, Spain do not want to loss to Korea and shatter their morale ahead of the European tournament in France. At the same time, Korea have no pressure of any sorts and they will look to play an open free flowing football. Spain are clear favourites to win this encounter, but this is going to be a narrow win by a one goal margin.
I expect both teams to score and at the full time it will be a 2-1 win for Spain on Wednesday.