Sweden vs South Korea
FIFA World Cup 2018 Group F
Date: Monday, 18 June 2018
Kick-Off at 13:00 UK / 14:00 CET
Venue: Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.
Sweden return to the World Cup for the first time in 12 years and they have some tricky candidates to negotiate to make it through to the round of 16. The first of them will be South Korea on Monday, 18th June 2018; followed by Germany and Mexico.
Sweden vs South Korea Match Preview
The Scandinavian side managed by Janne Andersson is considered as joint favorites with Mexico to clinch the second spot in Group F.
Sweden were responsible for one of the biggest upset of 2017 when they defeated Italy in the play-offs for tickets to Russia.
South Korea qualified for every World Cup since 1986, however, they have made through the group phase just twice. The Asian heavyweights didn’t have the best of runs in the qualifying stages as well. They could have missed out if not for Syria to lose by a narrow margin to Iran in the final qualifying group game.
Shin Tae-yong’s men also failed to impress in the friendlies since and have managed just 1 win from their last 6 matches. It won’t be a surprise to see them finish at the bottom of the group.
Germany take on Mexico in the first match of Group F at the Luzhniki Arena, Moscow on Sunday, 17th June 2018.
Sweden Team News
Janne Andersson has been consistent with his squad selection and retained the majority of the players that drive through the qualifying phase.
Jakob Johansson, who scored the lone goal in the play-off double header against Italy is unlucky not to be a part of the team after picking up an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Sweden Predicted Starting Line-up (4-4-2)
Olsen – Augustinsson, Granqvist, Lindelof, Krafth – Forsberg, Ekdal, Larsson, Durmaz – Berg, Toivonen.
South Korea Team News
Korea’s head-coach Shin Tae-yong made some surprise inclusions in the final squad of 23. The Crystal Palace midfielder Lee Chung-yong is one of the major causalities alongside the experienced striker Lee Keun-ho and defender Kim Kee-hee who plays his trade with Seattle Sounders in the MLS.
The player to watch is RB Salzburg striker Hwang Hee-chan, who will be partnering the ever reliant Spur’s attacker Son Heung-min.
South Korea Predicted Starting Line-up (4-3-3)
Kim Seung-gyu – Park Joo-ho, Kim Young-gwon, Kim Min-woo, Lee Yong – Ki Sung-yueng, Lee Jae-sung, Koo Ja-cheol, Jung Woo-young – Heung-min Son, Hwang Hee-chan.
Sweden vs South Korea Head-to-head
The teams met twice in the recent history and both friendlies played at the opposite end of calendar year 2015 ended in scored draws.
Sweden vs South Korea Predictions
Sweden have a far better team than their opponents, but they found themselves in the wrong foot off late. They took the flight to Russia on the back of a four match win-less run and haven’t scored in the latest three. This is quite similar to what happened at the Euro 2016 when the team failed to get through the group stage without a win and scoring just once.
On the other hand, South Korea haven’t won a game outside their home country since 2016. They also struggled to score goals which is confirmed by the 2 goals scored from 5 qualifying matches. They are currently on a 12 match win-less run away from home, drew 4 and lost 6.
So, we have to highlight these two factors before making the predictions – first their poor form of these two sides and then their inability to score goals. Therefore, under 2.5 goals has to be our first option in a potential goal-less stalemate.
Sweden vs South Korea Betting Tips
Under 2.5 match goals @ 1.50 odds.
First half draw @ 2.02 odd.