South Korea – Uruguay SOCCER PICKS
In South Korea’s own World Cup Stadium in Seoul, the afternoon of Friday will take a friendly chat with Uruguay. The South Americans are a real anxiety grower for the Asians.
South Korea lost the last World Cup in the group stage, although the Asians in their last group match Germany with 2-0 to beat. Despite that fine victory, the South Korean Football Association no longer saw it in former national coach Shin Tae-Yong, whose expiring contract was not extended. Since this summer, the Portuguese Paulo Bento is now at the helm at the Teaguk Warriors. With a 2-0 victory over Costa Rica and a 0-0 draw against Chile, he had a great start, although Uruguay will undoubtedly offer more resistance.
Bento has in any case already picked up his vedettes. ‘Europeans’ like Son Heung Min (Tottenham Hotspur), Ki Sung Young (Newcastle United) and Lee Seung Woo (Hellas Verona) are all in the 25-strong selection. However, by far the most players still play in their own country, for clubs like Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Pohang Steelers. In addition to the three star players, the Asians should probably have their work ethic.
Uruguay is still the smallest country that ever won the World Cup. This summer the South-Americans did a brave attempt again, although later winner France in the quarter finals was just too strong for the team of national coach Oscar Tabarez.
At Uruguay almost everything remained the same this summer. Tabarez still beats the scepter at La Celeste and with no less than 192 matches for Uruguay (!) The national coach who was most often with a country on the bench. The previous interland period had to pass El Maestro because of illness, but in South Korea the old nestor is back again.
Uruguay also has few surprises in terms of selection, as most of the players from the previous World Cup are just back. The main absentee, however, is star player Luis Suarez, who gets the time to recover from minor complaints. Edinson Cavani, who according to L’Equipe is not comfortable with Paris Saint-Germain, will therefore lead the Uruguayan attack. He will probably be assisted by Cristhian Stuani, who is also in shape again this season at the Spanish Girona. Also PSV-er Gaston Pereiro hopes for playing time, although the competition in the midfield with players like Matias Vecino (Inter), Lucas Torreira (Arsenal) and Rodrigo Betancur (Juventus) is huge.