South Korea v Algeria Preview

Group H | Sunday 22 June | Estadio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre | 21:00




Group H outsiders South Korea and Algeria go head-to-head to claim three points in an effort to qualify for the knockout stages. South Korea did well to hold Russia to a draw in their opener while Algeria threw away their one goal lead to lose to Belgium.

To Win (90mins)
S Korea 13/10
Draw 22/10
Algeria 21/10

SOUTH KOREA

Lee Keun-ho and Alexandr Kerzhakov were the goalscorers as Russia and South Korea drew 1-1 in Cuiaba on Tuesday, with Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev taking the headlines with a potentially fatal gaffe.

In the end, it was a fair result for both sides, who laboured through the tough playing conditions with lethargic displays.

The fact that Koo Ja-cheol's 50th-minute shot was Korea's first on target of the match, and that centre-back Sergei Ignashevich's 35-yard free-kick was Russia's only attempt on target in the first half, said it all about an even and uninspiring matchup.

Having lost four of their past five games heading to Brazil, the South Koreans came into their eighth straight World Cup with concerns over their flimsy defence and a lack of goal threat.

A 4-0 thrashing by Ghana in a warm-up match in Miami just before the World Cup highlighted those worrying deficiencies perfectly.

There was no hiding their toothless attack against Russia with the experienced Park Chu-young starting as the lone striker but justifying fears that he has lost his way after three ineffective years with Arsenal in the English Premier League.

He was substituted in the 56th and his replacement, Lee, scored South Korea’s fortunate goal.

Yet finishing is a problem across this whole squad: Son Heung-min's excellent run cutting in from the left was an example of the dynamic and quick wing play that can become a South Korean hallmark, yet his atrocious finish underlined just how much there is still to do.

There is a decent spine to the side, not least in the form of Ki Sung-yueng, who impressed with a tidy showing of composure and unerring passing, but he needs someone to finish off the chances he helps his compatriots create.

ALGERIA

Algeria started their 2014 World Cup opener off well but slowly took their foot off the pedal to lose 2-1 to the star studded Belgians.

What was frightening in the first half was that Algeria was more watchable than its brief appearance in 2010.

Algeria moved and kept the ball well, looked to hit Belgium on the counterattack and took the lead from a penalty.

Credit Belgium for turning things around. Second-half substitutions pushed aside the bus — two banks of four players — that Algeria parked in front of goal.

Algeria, who were cast aside as one of the weakest teams in Brazil this summer, showed pace and attacking threat against Belgium, with Sofiane Feghouli their key dangerman.

Feghouli plays for Valencia in the Spanish La Liga and can play either as a winger on the right or as an attacking midfielder.

He has the ability to create and score goals. The 24-year-old is a former French youth international, who changed his alliance to Algeria.

Algeria may opt to start with Sporting’s Islam Slimani up front for this match, after the Portuguese based striker made a substitute appearance against Belgium.

Slimani has 10 goals from 19 games for Algeria. Algeria will know that this is their best chance to claim maximum points in the group with even a draw against Russia in their final game possibly seeing them through to the last 16.

Betting PredictionALGERIA 21/10
South Korea do not have the attack to beat Algeria neither do they have the best defence in Group H. Algeria are tipped at a valuable 21/10 to win the match. 

Written by Wayde Dorkin for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

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