Uruguay will face South Korea this Thursday in their first game of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Venue: Education City Stadium (Al Rayyan)
Uruguay are playing in the FIFA World Cup finals for the fourth consecutive time.
They have lost just once in 2022 (W7, D1).
The Sky Blues have conceded in just two of their previous nine group stage matches at the World Cup, ending their group without a single goal conceded twice.
South Korea have won three of their previous five World Cup finals openers (D1, L1).
This will be the tenth consecutive World Cup finals appearance for South Korea.
South Korea conceded the fastest goal at a World Cup finals when Turkey netted against them after just 10.8 seconds in 2002.
They have lost just of their last nine games (W7, D1).
They have kept seven clean sheets in their last nine games.
Head to head
Both sides have met regularly, and Uruguay has won most of those encounters (W6, L1).
Latest performances in all competitions
South Korea: W-W-D-L-W
Two-time World Cup winners and maiden edition winners Uruguay will look to begin their 2022 World Cup campaign on a good note when they face South Korea on Thursday.
The South American side were both hosts and winners of the inaugural World Cup in 1930 and are playing in the finals for the fourth consecutive time. Each of their last three participations have witnessed them progress from their group, so they will be confident of qualifying from this group ahead of their opponents and Ghana. On paper, only Portugal seems stronger than them in this group so they will face South Korea full of belief.
With the mixture of youth and experience, head coach Diego Alonso has been bold with his target in Qatar by claiming that “the players and I want to become world champions.” His side are in good form, too, as the Sky Blue have lost just once in 2022 (W7, D1), which came in a friendly loss against underdogs Iran.
Having also finished the CONMEBOL qualification on a high after registering four consecutive wins whilst conceding just once, Uruguay can dream big about lifting their third-ever World Cup trophy and their first in 72 years.
Possible Uruguay starting line-up
Sergio Rochet, Martin Caceres, Ronald Araujo, José Giménez, Mathías Olivera, Rodrigo Bentancur, Federico Valverde, Matias Vecino, Facundo Pellistri, Luis Suarez, Darwin Núñez.
South Korea will hope to continue their impressive run of form when they face Uruguay in Al Rayyan on Thursday.
The Asians are playing in their tenth consecutive World Cup finals in Qatar, but they’ve progressed only twice from the group stage. This means that expectations are perhaps lower than their opponents here.
Their highest achievement in the World Cup was an incredible fourth-place finish from their home World Cup in 2002. Tottenham Hotspur’s star Son Heung-Min has said he would like to help his country achieve such a feat again and is ready to “take a risk” and start here despite his recent surgery.
With Son on board, South Korea qualified for Qatar with a decent record from their final AFC group qualification (W7, D2, L1) after conceding the lowest number of goals (three). If their star player cannot make it in time for this game, then at least the Taegeuk Warriors can gain some motivation from triumphing in three of their previous five World Cup finals openers (D1, L1) without the talisman.
Possible South Korea starting line-up
Seung-Gyu Kim, Moon-hwan Kim, Min-Jae Kim, Kyung-won Kwon, Jin-Su Kim, In-beom Hwang, Woo-Young Jung, Jae-Sung Lee, Woo-yeong Jeong, Hee-Chan Hwang, Heung-Min Son.
|Uruguay to win||Draw||South Korea to win|
Uruguay 2-1 South Korea