Good morning fellow punters! The World Cup gets to the business part of proceedings today as the knock-out stages begin. There are two games today with the clash between Uruguay and South Korea looked at in more detail below.
Uruguay – South Korea.
Uruguay have kept their goal mouth intact throughout the group phase to finish top of the group and qualify for the round of 16 for the first time in 20 years. The road towards the semi-finals is realistic if they can overcome the obstacle of South Korea given they will play either the USA or Ghana in the quarterfinals. Oscar Tabarez will make one change to the line-up compared to the one that faced Mexico. Diego Godin was exceptional in the first two games but missed the third due to gastroenteritis and will return to central defence.
South Korea have made history by qualifying for the knock-out stages for the first time on foreign soil. The same could be said of head coach Huh Jung-Moo, who is the first South Korean coach to lead them to the round of 16. Huh has concerns over their defensive performance given they have let in 6 goals during the group phase, which means they have the worst defensive record of the 16 teams remaining in the competition. The main problem is at right back where neither Cha Du-ri nor Oh Beom-seok have been satisfactory with their performances. As such, I wouldn’t be surprised if Huh begins with Lee Young-pyo on the right and Kim Dong-jin on the left. In the event the game looks set to head to penalties Huh is expected to make a goalkeeping substitution and bring on the experienced Lee Woon-jae, who is considered a penalty specialist.
Uruguay: Muslera - Maxi Pereira, Lugano, Godin, Fucile - Diego Perez, Arevalo Ríos, Alvaro Pereira – Forlan - Suarez, Cavani
South Korea: Jung Sung-ryong – Cha Du-ri, Lee Jung-Soo, Cho Yong-Hyung, Lee Young-Pyo - Park Ji-sung, Lee Chung-yong, Ki Sung-yueng, Kim Jung-woo - Park Chu-young, Yeom Ki-hun
SELECTION: This will be a tight game between two very tight-knit teams. Uruguay have the slight advantage to go through but my selection will be under 2.5 goals.