Sweden vs South Korea - Preview - World Cup 2018

Sweden begin their World Cup campaign against one of the tournament’s lowest ranked teams. The Scandinavians had to go through a tough schedule to make it to this year’s World Cup, coming up against the world’s best.

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FIFA World Cup
Sweden vs South Korea  
Group F 
Monday 18 June
Nizhny Novgorod Stadium
14:00

To Win 
Sweden 1/1
Draw 43/20
South Korea 3/1

Sweden

Sweden finished second behind France in a tricky group that also involved the Netherlands. The Swedes made it through on goal difference after being level on points with the Dutch. They then went on to face four-time world champions Italy in the play-offs, where they shocked the world and knocked out the Italians.

Sweden conceded only nine goals in the qualifiers, keeping five clean sheets in 10 games. The Swedes also kept consecutive clean sheets against mighty Italy to go past them in the World Cup playoffs.

They face 2002 co-hosts, South Korea, for the first time in a non-friendly match and Janne Andersson’s men will fancy their chances after overcoming some of Europe’s best to make it to Russia.

Marcus Berg will be the player to watch in this tournament after being Swedish top scorer in the qualification campaign, netting eight times.

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South Korea

Korea Republic return to the world’s biggest tournament after they were disappointing in Brazil 2014, where the Asians were knocked in the group stages for the first time after they hosted the tournament in 2002.

Head coach Shin Tae-Yong, will be without two key players due to injuries, including veteran striker Lee Keun-Ho. Another major setback for the Asians was Dijon’s Kwon Chang-Hoon, who suffered from a torn Achilles injury while playing for Dijon in the last round of Ligue 1 against Angers.

The attacking midfielder had a phenomenal season for his club, scoring 11 goals in 42 appearances. The Asians are without two major players up front and it will be even harder to crack the Swedes’ stern defensive line.

Despite the two big injuries the Asians still have the services of Tottenham’s forward Son Heung-min, and the midfield is also alluring with Swansea’s Ki Sung-yeung in partnership with Lee Chung-yong who plays for Crystal Palace.

Probable line-ups:

Sweden: 4-4-2
Robin Olsen; Granqvist, Lindeloef, Lustig, Augustinsson; Forsberg, Larsson, Johansson, Claesson; Berg, Toivonen.

South Korea: 4-4-2
Hyun-Woo Cho; Go Yo-Han, Seung-Hyeon, Young-gwon, Hong Chul; Chung-yong, Se-jong, Woo-young, Seung-woo; Hee-chan, Son

Prediction: Sweden Win (1/1)
Sweden are a banker at even money, and should be included in all bet multiples. The Europeans overcame tough opposition in the qualifiers, beating teams like France and Italy along the way. The Swedes are strong at the back, not conceding in seven games including back-to-back clean sheets against the 2006 world champions Italy.

Written by Banele Pikwa

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