4/1 to qualify
South Korea have played in 10 World Cup competitions in their history, first appearing on the main stage back in 1954. They famously staged the tournament with Japan in 2002 when UK fans were forced to stay up late at night and rise early in the morning to catch games.
Rolling out the red carpet for the footballing world sat well with them and they finished fourth on the year Brazil beat Germany in the final and Turkey ended with bronze. Fast-forward 16 years and they share Group F with Germany, Mexico and Sweden and that’ll be as daunting as it looks on paper. They’re 4/1 top price with Bet Victor to qualify which makes them outsiders of four.
We put their current squad under the microscope and pick out three players worth keeping an eye on when The Reds get started against Sweden on Monday 18th June, live on ITV from 1.00pm…..
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Spurs' Son to shine
Bet Victor have him as 3/1 favourite to finish as South Korea’s top scorer and although the team aren’t expected to make much of an impact on the pool, odds compilers do fancy them to nick a few goals, no scorer featuring down the list at 8/1. Son already has 20 for his nation since debuting back in 2010, making 63 appearances to date.
The 25-year-old Tottenham winger has helped himself to a few goals for the London club during his stay too and finished the season with a flurry, scoring seven in four games in all competitions including a double vs Rochdale, Huddersfield and Bournemouth and one in the Champions League at home to Juventus. A man who knows where the net is with confidence to burn.
Another who has made a name for himself in English football although he’s not been able to quite keep pace with his team mate in recent times. Brought to Britain by Scottish champions Celtic in 2009 he was then sold to Swansea for a fee of £6m in 2012 which seemed a bargain at the time and he spent a period on loan at Sunderland. Not the proven scorer Son is but a very useful addition to the squad.
Ki has played for his country at every level from the under-17 squad through to making his debut for the seniors in 2008 and already has 10 goals in 99 games. He was released by Swansea upon their Premier League relegation and will be eager to sort out his future before heading to Russia. We don’t think he’ll be short of offers and at 29 years old he still has a lot to offer both club and country.
The third name on our list and he too will be familiar with followers of English football with the 5ft 11inch winger employed by Crystal Palace. The Eagles endured a difficult season – not quite as bad as Swansea – and only just beat relegation in the closing stages of the campaign. Lee played his part in that great escape, featuring in wins over West Brom, Leicester and Huddersfield while also trusted against Chelsea, Tottenham and Man City.
Not known for his goal scoring capabilities, the 29-year-old takes more pride in being creator and will be asked to get the ball from the back and help move his side up the park. A pacey player possessing a trick or two he’ll be vital in South Korea’s plans to counter-attack the bigger names in Group F.