South Korea v Algeria: Expert v Expert Preview

Both South Korea  and Algeria  are desperate for a win in Porto Alegre. Our team experts John Duerden and Yanis Boukkerou give us the latest from both camps.


John Duerden on South Korea: There is a pretty good chance that the starting eleven is unchanged from the team that drew 1-1 against Russia. The main area of concern was the defence and it performed better than expected, or at least better than it had managed of late. Midfield impressed with the only disappointment in attack.There is a little pressure on striker Park Chu-young who was largely anonymous but the 28 year-old Arsenal man should get the nod. Elsewhere, Yun Suk-young is ready to keep his place at left back and then it’s as you were.

Yanis Boukkerou on Algeria: After a fairly defensive display against Belgium, Algeria will be shedding the 4-3-3 and adopting a 4-2-3-1. The likely starters in this system will include an attacking midfield trio of Djabou, Brahimi and Feghouli. There is reasonable suspicion the coach will replace right back Mostefa with younger Aissa Mandi. Again, the lineup is difficult to predict due to the coach’s desire to use the full depth of the Algerian squad.


John Duerden: It’s not great,  with just one win in the last six games after the Russian draw. That was a solid enough performance though the Russians didn’t really test the defence as much as they should have. Korea were much better in midfield with Ki Seung-yeung shaking off recent rustiness to give an excellent example of passing. Son Heung-min was lively in attack though his shooting lacked its usual accuracy. Overall however, Korea were pleased with the opening game even if there is a feeling that perhaps they should have taken all three points.

Yanis Boukkerou: During Algeria’s game against Belgium, a side more defensive than fans would have hoped was fielded. While the Algerians were able to take the lead in the 25th minute via a penalty converted by Sofiane Feghouli, the lead was lost by the 70th and then Belgium overtook Algeria in the 80th to make it 2-1. Despite such a defensive display, optimism in the camp is present and there will certainly be a shift for a more offensive game against South Korea.


South Korea’s Hong Myung-Bo: "I can't predict the result. But what I can say is that we're going to play to win, because we absolutely have to win to hope to reach the next round. We want to score first... our players are going to try to convert [chances], but we'll have to be patient. We're going to have opportunities - the key to the game will be if we can convert these into goals."

Algeria’s Vahid Halilhodzic: “We are looking to prepare well for the South Korea game, now is not the moment to cry.”


John Duerden: Son heung-min. Son’s running gave Russia problems in the first game even if his shooting did not but Algeria should prove more to his liking. The Bayer Leverkusen man loves nothing more than to run into space and the Koreans think that there will be much more of that against an Algerian team that needs to come out and play and is also vulnerable on the flanks. Son faded a little in the second half last week but looked a little nervous in his World Cup debut. Now he is ready to shine.

Yanis Boukkerou: With Yacine Brahimi being highly tipped to start, he will be an important figure for Algeria. With the must-win nature of this game he will have to step up and give the South Korean midfield something to worry about. With a La Liga high of 164 dribbles last season, Granada's Brahimi has all the quality to do so. He will also be able to relieve the creative duties on Feghouli and allow him to become a more direct goal threat.  


Yanis Boukkerou: Taking a look at half time scores, a safe bet would be Algeria to end the half with the lead at 3.80. In Algeria’s last five games, six of the nine goals they scored came in the first half, with only one of the four conceded coming in the same period. In addition, four of the eight goals conceded by South Korea in their last five games came in the first half.


John Duerden: 2-1 Korea at 11.50.

Yanis Boukkerou: 2-0 Algeria at 15.00.  

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