At the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Sweden and South Korea will start their World Cup journey, as they set to meet at the big tournament for the first time in their history. The Blue-Yellow qualified for the final competition after eliminating Italy by 1-0 on aggregate in the UEFA play-offs. Janne Andersson’s team had finished second in their respective qualifying group, behind France, but they showed great potential and teamwork during the process. On the other hand, one of the most regular participants in the World Cup among the Asian national teams, South Korea, booked the ticket to Russia following four wins and three defeats in ten games, which saw them secure the second place in the group, behind Iran. Although their qualifying tournament ended almost a year ago, the Taegeuk Warriors have been preparing themselves for the World Cup by playing thirteen friendlies during the break, nine of them in 2018. However, Shin Tae-Yong’s side failed to shine this year, as they’ve lost four out of their previous six matches, including a 2-0 loss to Senegal just before their trip to Russia.
Although Sweden will be without their best player, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the players like Emil Forsberg, Viktor Claesson, and Ola Toivonen are those who should drag the Scandinavians through the competition. As for South Korea, Ki Sung-Yeung, Son Heung-Min, and Hwang Hee-Chan are those who should represent the main threat to Robin Olsen.
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