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Son, South Korea in Underdog Role Against Organized Sweden

Both Sweden and South Korea will be battling hard to earn passage out of a very tricky Group F which involves both Germany and Mexico, so their World Cup opener on June 18 at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium has the potential to be filled with intrigue with both sides gunning for a full haul of points.

Bookmakers have Sweden as faves at +105 in moneyline markets at online shop Bovada with South Korea +310 and the draw +225. Those prices peg the Swedes as half-goal faves at +105 with South Korea -125 in the underdog role. The total is tabbed at 2 with OVER -120 and UNDER EVEN.

Bet on the 2018 World Cup here

SHARK BITES
  • These two last met twice in 2005 and both matches ended in draws.
  • South Korea finished 2nd in AFC Group A behind Iran with 15 points.
  • Only Marcus Berg (18) and Ola Toivonen (13) have scored double-digit goals in the Sweden lineup.

Sweden, while still a quality side, will miss the talismanic Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who will not be making the trip to Russia. The onus in attack will fall on Leipzig playmaker Emil Forsberg but he is coming off a disappointing season compared to the masterful campaign of 2016-17 with the Saxony club. Forsberg is an incredibly skilled playmaker and is fully capable of engineering goals.

This will mark Sweden’s first World Cup since 2006 when they advanced from the group stage only to be eliminated by Germany in the Round of 16. They qualified through a playoff where they dispatched Italy over two legs by an aggregate score of 1-0.

South Korea will live and die by the exploits of the electric Son Heung-Min. The Tottenham attacker is coming off another great domestic season and he will be the focal point of the attack. Complementing him, Hwang Hee-Chan will also give defenders fits. The Red Bull Salzburg player bagged five goals in the domestic campaign and another two in the Europa League, so opponents should not underestimate the threats in attack.

The importance of this game cannot be overstated. Both sides will feel competitive enough to qualify second in this group behind Germany and three points in this one would be a major coup. It has the markings of a tightly contested match but both know how important a win here is going to be for the opportunity to leave the group. Assuming both will drop points to Germany down the road, a win in this one plus getting points vs Mexico will be vital.

Best Bet for Sweden-South Korea:

Sweden is very organized in their 4-4-2 and, as noted by their two legs vs Italy to get here, can lock opponents down. The pace and danger that exists with Son will be the key for the Blågult and I actually like the UNDER 2 here.

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