Russia: Akinfeev; Kombarov, Ignashevitch, Berezoutski, Eshchenko; Samedov, Fayzulin; Zhirkov, Dzagoev, Shatov; Kokorin.
Captain Roman Shirokov will miss out due to injury.
South Korea: Jung Sung Ryong; Lee Yong, Hong Jeong Ho, Kim Young Gwon, Yun Suk Young; Han Kook Young, Ki Sung Yeung; Son Heung Min, Koo Ja Cheol, Lee Chung Yong: Park Chu Yong.
101GG Betting Tip:
Russia and South Korea meet on Tuesday at the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba to kick off their World Cup campaigns.
Fabio Capello has managed to send Russia to the World Cup after a 12 year long drought, and while some of his tactics and style of play may not be attractive for the neutral observer, it has proved efficient. The Russians finished top of their group, ahead of Portugal, and are now looking to improve on their meagre World Cup record and qualify for the knockout stages for the first time since the break up of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The former England manager decided to approach his task with a squad consisting of players exclusively playing in Russia’s Premier League, with more than half earning their wages at Dynamo Moscow and Zenit St. Petersburg.
The Russians arrive to this fixture with an impressive 10 game unbeaten streak, and will look to continue their run of form against a team displaying some weaknesses in recent years. Korea barely made it to Brazil following two defeats to Iran and losses against weak sides such as Lebanon and Uzbekistan. Recent friendlies have not seen the negative trend reversed either, with only 1 win in the last 5 attempts, including defeats at both World Cup warm up matches.
The Koreans still have plenty of talent in their squad with numerous players from the Bundesliga and the Premier League, including Arsenal’s Park Chu-Young as well as Bayer Leverkusen’s Son Heung-Min.
Since Belgium is likely to win this group, and Algeria would be the realistic candidate to finish last, the winner of this fixture may be able to make a huge step towards the knockout stage.
101GG Prediction: Russia 1 – South Korea 1
Some essential facts and stats to help with online betting:
Russia have only kept one clean sheet in their last six World Cup games, it was against Tunisia on 5 June 2002 (2-0).
This is South Korea’s eighth World Cup in a row (since 1986); only Brazil, Germany, Italy, Argentina and Spain can boast a longer streak currently.
South Korea have only won two of their last 10 World Cup games (against Togo in 2006 and Greece in 2010).
The one previous meeting between Russia and South Korea came in a friendly in November 2013; Fabio Capello’s side won 2-1.
Including games played as Soviet Union, Russia have lost seven of their last 10 World Cup games, winning the other three.
South Korea have kicked off each of the last three World Cups with a win: against Poland in 2002, Togo in 2006 and Greece in 2010.
South Korea have scored the most direct free-kicks in the World Cup since 1990 (5).
Aleksandr Kokorin was the youngest player to score 10 or more goals in the Russian Premier League in 2013/14; he was born in March 1991.