South Korea will look to secure their place in the next round of the World Cup when they face Portugal at the Education City Stadium this Friday.
Venue: Education City Stadium (Al Rayyan)
South Korea have lost just two of their last ten games (W5, D3).
They have kept three clean sheets in their last five games.
South Korea possess a meagre 22% win rate against UEFA nations at the World Cup finals (W5, D6, L12).
Portugal have lost just two of their last ten games (W7, D1).
They have scored 2+ goals in four of their last five games.
Portugal are unbeaten in their last four final group stage contests (W2, D2),
World Cup trivia: Portugal didn’t play out a single stalemate across their first 16 World Cup tournament games starting in 1966 and ending in the 2006 edition (W11, L5), and that remains a competition record of straight games without a draw to this very day!
Head to head
Portugal lost their only head-to-head meeting with South Korea, and that came in the World Cup in 2002.
Latest performances in all competitions
South Korea: L-D-W-W-D
After recording a goalless draw in their opening game against Uruguay, South Korea’s chances of booking their place in the next round of the World Cup took a hit last time out when they were beaten 3-2 by Ghana.
The Asian side found themselves on the wrong end of one of the most entertaining games of the tournament so far as went two goals down in the first half before briefly levelling up thanks to a quick-fire brace from Gue-Sung Cho.
However, Mohamed Kudus scored a late winner for Ghana, meaning that South Korea must now defeat the already-qualified Portugal whilst hoping for a favour from Uruguay.
But South Korea must do this without their head coach, Paulo Bento, who saw red at the final whistle in their loss to Ghana as he remonstrated with the referee. The Lisbon-born Bento was part of a Portugal team that South Korea eliminated with a 1-0 win in the 2002 tournament, but will be unavailable in what is arguably the biggest game of his managerial career against his homeland.
Possible South Korea starting line-up
Seung-Gyu Kim, Moon-hwan Kim, Min-Jae Kim, Young-Gwon Kim, Jin-Su Kim, In-beom Hwang, Woo-Young Jung, Chang-Hoon Kwon, Woo-yeong Jeong, Heung-Min Son, Gue-sung Cho.
Portugal have already booked their place in the next round of the World Cup thanks to a 2-0 win over Uruguay last time out.
The 2016 European champions sit top of their group after winning 3-2 against Ghana in their first game before their latest win over Uruguay.
Having already secured passage to the knockout phase for the fourth time across the last five tournaments, they need just a point here to guarantee the top spot in Group H.
History points to a strong showing from them in this final group game as they are currently unbeaten in their last four such contests (W2, D2), although that run began after losing 1-0 to South Korea when suffering an early elimination in 2002.
Possible Portugal starting line-up
Rui Patricio, Diogo Dalot, António Silva, Ruben Dias, Raphael Guerreiro, João Palhinha, William Carvalho, Bruno Fernandes, Andre Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Leão.
|South Korea to win||Draw||Portugal to win|
South Korea 2-2 Portugal