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FIFA World Cup 2022: South Korea seek Son’s return as they face Uruguay in Group H opener

FIFA World Cup 2022: South Korea seek Son’s return as they face Uruguay in Group H opener

FIFA World Cup 2022: South Korea seek Son’s return as they face Uruguay in Group H opener
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By Oumar Aga  Nov 23, 2022 7:25:40 PM IST (Updated)

Two-time World Cup winners Uruguay will sprint on to the pitch to take on mercurial South Korea. La Celeste boast a strong frontline that is likely to wreak havoc on the Korean Kims in defence. The Taegeuk Warriors will be concerned with the fitness of their talisman Son Heung-min. The winger has shown fighting spirit and is expected to start against Uruguay wearing a protective mask.

Latin America will meet Asia when Uruguay and South Korea mark the onset of Group H in the FIFA World Cup 2022 at the Education City Stadium in Qatar on Thursday.

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Building up to the World Cup, both sides have displayed resilience in their respective matches and results this year. La Celeste have won seven out of their nine matches this year, while the Taegeuk Warriors have won nine of their last 13 matches.
Uruguay finished third in the World Cup Qualification CONMEBOL 2020/2022, behind Brazil and Argentina. The two-time champions will be playing in their 14th World Cup finals as they look to replicate the feat of 2010. Every side dreams of lifting the golden trophy. However, being in the final four could well be a great achievement for La Celeste, who have not won the World Cup since 1950.
The nation was also impressive in the last edition when they reached the quarter-finals and were beaten by eventual champions France. Before losing to France, the Latin American side beat Portugal 2-1. This time, the two sides are in the same group. Diego Alonso’s squad is a strong one. In attack, he has the option of picking between Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani, and Darwin Nunez.
In the midfield, La Celeste will be without Mauro Arambarri, but Federico Valverde, Lucas Torreira, and Rodrigo Bentancur will be at Alonso’s disposal, along with players like Matias Vecino and Manuel Ugarte. The backline is also expected to be solid. Veteran Diego Godin will be eyeing his 160th cap for Uruguay as he is likely to start in defence if Ronald Araujo is not fit enough to start against South Korea.
South Korea hit double digits as they enter their tenth World Cup. In the last two editions, they were eliminated in the group stages. A repeat of 2002 is what the Taegeuk Warriors will seek. South Korea were the co-hosts for the 2002 FIFA World Cup with Japan and secured their best-ever finish after nabbing the fourth spot.
As expected, South Korea were prolific in the World Cup qualifiers. They played 16 games across two phases, winning 12 and losing just one game in the process. Paulo Bento’s main concern in this World Cup will be the recovery of his star player Son Heung-min. The Tottenham Hotspur forward suffered an eye socket fracture earlier this month. However, Son was seen training with his South Korean teammates wearing a protective mask.
Hwang Ui-jo is likely to start as a sole striker up front, flanked by Hwang Hee-chan and Son, if he is fit to start. For creativity behind the frontline, the Taegeuk Warriors are likely to rely on midfielders Lee Kang-in and Hwang In-beom. A plethora of Kims are expected to feature in defence. Defender Kim Min-jae, who plays for Napoli, is expected to be at the heart of the defence.
Team News:
For Uruguay, Ronald Araujo is doubtful for this game as he continues to recover from his thigh injury. Edinson Cavani was struggling with a niggle around his ankle but is expected to be fit. For South Korea, there are no injury concerns barring Son Heung-min, who is training with the protective face mask.
Form Guide: (Last five matches, most recent first)
Uruguay
: W - L - W - D - W
South Korea: W - W - D - W - D
Betting Odds: (Bet365)
Uruguay: 1.72
South Korea: 5.00
Draw: 3.50
Predicted Line-Ups:
Uruguay Possible Starting 11 (4-3-3): Rochet; Varela, Godin, Gimenez, Olivera; Bentancur, Vecino, Valverde; De Arrascaeta, Suarez, Nunez.
South Korea Possible Starting 11 (4-1-4-1): Kim Seung-gyu; Kim Moon-hwan, Kim Young-gwon, Kim Min-jae, Kim Jin-su; Jung Woo-young; Hwang Hee-chan, Jeong Woo-yeong, Hwang In-beom, Son Heung-min; Hwang Ui-jo.
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