Wreaking Havoc This Friday! 

South Korea vs Portugal | Friday 2 December | Education City Stadium | 17:00

Portugal went to Qatar as hot favorites to win Group H due to the depth in their squad, which carries both experience and exciting young players. They’ve lived up to the billing so far after qualifying for the round of 16 with a game to spare. They face a South Korean side that will need nothing less than three points to have any chance of qualifying as runners-up.

To Win

South Korea 44/10

Draw 31/10

Portugal 6/10

South Korea

It hasn’t been a great World Cup for South Korea, with just one point to show in Qatar after two games. Their opening match against Uruguay was a dull goalless encounter where they failed to register a single shot on target despite creating seven chances to score.

Against Ghana, they played much better despite losing 3-2 in the end. They showed grit and fight, especially in the second half when they came from a goal down to lead 2-1. It’s their defence that will concern coach Paulo Bento. His team seemed to crumble in four minutes, conceding two goals scored by Ghana’s rising star, Mohammed Kudus.

Despite losing, the South Koreans managed to create 22 scoring chances, seven of those were on target, with Cho Gue-sung stepping up to claim an impressive brace. To get their first win in Qatar, the Taegeuk Warriors need to get Son Heung-min firing. The Tottenham forward went to

Qatar with an injury that could disturb him, but after playing two games with a face mask, he could be ready to step up against a slow Portuguese backline.


I never thought I’d consider Portugal one of the teams that could make it to the final in Qatar, but their opening two matches in Group H have shown there’ll be no pushovers and can be counted amongst the tournament’s dark horses.

What will scare rivals about Portugal is their squad depth despite injuries to Nuno Mendes and Danilo Pereira, who will most definitely miss Friday’s encounter since they have already wrapped up qualification for the next round.

While Cristiano Ronaldo has hogged all the headlines for on and off-field matters, the Portuguese star has been a great focal point upfront for Fernando Santos’ team, ensuring players around him get the space to run in behind. Bruno Fernandes had a deserved player-of-the-match performance against Uruguay and will look to build up steam ahead of their crucial last 16 game.

I think both players will be rested and maybe given a run later in the match to keep them fresh. Goncalo Ramos, who’s been in fine form for Benfica this season, and Rafael Leao could start this game. If they do, they’ll create a lot of problems for South Korea’s defense which looked very shaky against Ghana.

Prediction: Portugal to be leading at half-time (11/10)

I expect to see Portugal come out firing from the first whistle and wreak havoc on the South Korean backline who let in two goals in the first 34 minutes against Ghana.

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