Uruguay takes on one of its familiar Asian opponents, South Korea in the opening match of Group H at the FIFA World Cup 2022. Before the event in Qatar, the two teams have faced each other four times, twice in the FIFA competitions in 1990 and 2010 and in two international friendlies, 2014 and 2018. Of the four previous meetings, Uruguay has been victorious on three occasions while South Korea only on one.
Uruguay has secured their place at the FIFA World Cup on 14 occasions including Qatar and in ten they have made it past the first round. Within the same quota, they have reached the semifinals five times and the final twice.
Their upcoming out-of-continent foe, South Korea has also been a regular participant at the FIFA World over the last several editions. Their best-ever run was at the 2002 edition when they reached the competition’s semi-finals; the first team do so besides the nations of South America and Europe.
In recent competitions, however, the Asian Tiger hasn’t been able to get past the round of 16 or the group stage. Though worth remembering is their historic 2-0 win over the then reigning world champion, Germany at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. And considering their recent forms, South Korea does look more than promising to upset any teams including even the heavyweights.
Why Uruguay Might Prevail?
Uruguay has the more pedigree and knack to reach the knockouts and even run deep considering their performances at the last several FIFA outings. They just seem to be the squad inevitably to have some form of presence at the knockouts. Their veteran attacking line Suarez and Cavani are as lethal as they were in the previous tournaments.
It has become even more dangerous with the addition of Liverpool’s star signing, Darwin Núñez. In the mid is the unmissable threat of Real Madrid’s UCL-winning midfielder, Federico Valverde.
History additionally also favors Uruguay. The team also has been performing well under the new coach, Diego Alonso. Uruguay is equally adept in sitting deep to create the counter or press higher if necessary.
On top of all this, South Korea isn’t a new opponent to them; Suarez and co have had enough victories against them in their previous meetings which clearly should have given the South Americans abundant confidence to play with a well-paced tempo against their first rival of this tournament.
South Korea’s a bit more dependency on Heung min Son is probable to make them ineffective in the attacking events. The Tottenham forward has been considered doubtful in light of his recent fracture in the facial bones.
How The Match Will Progress? Some Likely Scenarios
While the start of the match is very hard to predict in this sort of fixture, keeping Uruguay’s last several on-field incidents in mind, it is highly likely that one of the mentioned names, Nunez is very much likely to come off the bench and score a decider with one touch in the last ten or so minutes of the match. A similar probability is also given for Valverde to score a screamer from outside the box.
In like manner, South Korea is expected to draw the first blood either from a set piece or via a counter-attack, however, they are also projected to be unable to hold the stubborn Uruguayan till the 90th-minute mark.
Our Prediction For The Likeliest Scoreline
Uruguay 2-1 South Korea
Why South Korea Might Hold Uruguay?
In the event that South Korea’s power forward Heung min Son is fit, Uruguay’s defense does have to be in their full conscience. Regardless, the South American side is certain to have it difficult to contain the Korean tank midfielder Kim Min Jae who is having an excellent run of form with Napoli in Italy.
Uruguay vs South Korea Predictions By Numbers
Uruguay is an easy favorite to win against the Asian Red Devils with the odds of 8/11 (1.72). South Korea on the contrary has 21/4 (5.25) to have superiority against their opening challenger. The probability of a tie is seen at 5/2 (3.50). Uruguay’s long-time talisman Luis Suarez is expected at 9/2 (5.50) to open up the score sheet.
Just after him, in terms of probability, is Darwin Nunez at 11/2 (6.50). Following the aforesaid names are Cavani and Valverde on 11/2 (6.50) and 9/1 (10.00) respectively.
As for South Korea, should Heung min Son miss the opener, Wolves attacker Hee-Chan Hwang is assured at 11/1 (12.00).
Some supercomputers have given Uruguay a 56.2% chance of winning their opening match against South Korea. Conversely, an 18.9% probability has been given to the Asian side to conquer La Celeste. The match has also received a 24.9% probability of facing a draw.
Uruguay Forms In Last Ten Matches
South Korea Forms In Last Ten Matches