The FIFA World Cup is up and running, and one could not hope for a better start to the tournament then what we have been witnessing in the first two days of the competition. Whether it be the mind blasting opener of a 5-0 victory of Russia over Saudi Arabia, the nail-biting thriller of a 3-3 draw between Spain and Portugal, or Mexico pulling off an upset against Germany. For now the next fixture upon us is Sweden vs South Korea.
With all the ‘big teams’ gathering the news, there is a match between ‘not so big teams’ that can draw a lot of interest. The match between the Group F teams, Sweden vs South Korea promises to be an eventful one as has been the norm so far.
The 12th match of the tournament would display two teams which don’t have a high rating but contains a lot of potential.
— Channel NewsAsia (@ChannelNewsAsia) June 17, 2018
Sweden sits 24th in the FIFA rankings while South Korea sits at 57. Even with such rankings, the teams are equally talented and well-matched.
Neither of the teams are strong title contenders, but both of them would like to make the best of tournament by starting off with a win in the Sweden vs South Korea Clash.
Both the teams have equal potentials and a few unknown star players that can be put into the limelight. Here is the in-depth view of the teams:
Sweden and South Korea have never faced each other in world cup. The last meeting between these two was a friendly match in 2005, which ended up in a 2-2 draw. This Sweden vs South Korea too promises to be a goal scoring fest.
South Korea qualified for the World cup by securing the second position in the qualifying round, only next to Iran, with an impressive 12 wins in 18 matches. But after qualification, surprisingly sacked their experienced manager, Uli Stelike, and replaced him with Shin Tae-yong. Tae-yong has managed to go up the ranks having previously managed the U20s and U23s team for the country.
The depth in the Korean side has been a mystery, as none of the players have played more than 10 international games for the country.
Key Players in Sweden vs South Korea:
Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspurs)
The 25-year-old is one of the best players to come out of Asia in a while. His quickness and goal scoring abilities make him a huge threat, which is good, as his team depend on him for most of the goals and creativity.
A very simple and effortless performer on the field, Son is known for always smiling and enjoying the game, while playing his heart out something he will surely carry on doing in the Sweden vs South Korea clash.
Hee Chan-Hewang (Red Bull Salszburg)
Chan-Hewang is another rising star out of South Korea. The 22 year old has scored 15 goals in 44 appearances for the Austrian club and has since managed to score his first International goal. He is a real goal threat and a dominant midfield player.
Kim Seung-Gyu, Lee Yong, Kim Yong-Gwon, Jang Hyun-Soo, Kim Min-Woo, Park Joo-Ho, Moon Seon-Min, Hee Chan-Hewang, Koo Ja-Cheol, Lee Seung-Woo, Son Heung-Min.
Sweden qualified in the most impressive way possible. They defeated Italy in a two-legged match fixture in the playoffs, to secure their position in the World Cup, for the first time after 2006.
The team is well organised, even without the presence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. They have been very dominant in defense, but a bit sloppy in midfield. They have not managed to win a single game after their historic victory over Italy.
Key Players in Sweden vs South Korea:
Marcus Berg (Al Ain FC)
Marcus Berg has been Sweden’s top scorer in the qualifying, proving that they can win without Zlatan. The 31-year old has had a fantastic season in the UAE league, where he netted 25 goals for his club in 21 appearances.
He is a great threat in front of goal and his team would need every bit of his form to win a few matches
Victor Lindelof (Manchester United)
Although he has faced lack of game time for United, he has been a regular player for the national team. He has a huge contribution in his team’s world cup qualification.
His team would need him to be a wall in defense to win the matches.
Robin Olsen, Mikael Lustig, Victor Lindelof, Andreas Granqvists, Ludwig Augustinsson, Victor Classen, Sebastian Larsson, Albin Ekdal, Emil Forsberg, Ola Toivonen, Marcus Berg.
The match is likely to end as a draw with score line, 2-2.