Betting tip World Cup 2018: Sweden - Süd-Korea

Monday, 18.06.2018 at 14:00 o’clock (CET)

Sweden wants to begin the tournament with a win

The second week of the 2018 World Cup in Russia gets underway this coming Monday with the match between Sweden and South Korea. Two Group F teams that, along with Mexico, are likely to be battling it out for a second-place finish behind world champions Germany. As usual in our World Cup betting tips, we provide you with complete information about this group match. Kickoff is on June 18 at 2 PM (CET).

Sweden

  • unbeaten against this opponent
  • defensively very sound recently

South Korea

  • harmless offensive opponents in recent games
  • strong on the counterattack

Current Form of Sweden

During qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, Sweden was responsible for an absolute sensation. As the second-place finisher in Group A, they had to compete in the playoffs, where they eliminated the team from Italy. In the first leg they won at home 1:0, while in the return leg they managed a 0:0 draw and thus made the 2006 World Cup champions spectators for the upcoming tournament. What caught our attention: Sweden is an extremely disciplined tactical team against whom it is enormously difficult to eke out opportunities. A situation that South Korea will likely discover for itself. Furthermore, in their duel with the sensational home team of the 2002 World Cup, we see clear physical advantages for the Scandinavians. In the last few days and weeks, there has been a lot of talk and speculation about a possible return of superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Though it does seem nothing came of it, which we actually view as an advantage for Sweden. Because: The team’s game was very much tailored to Ibrahimovic, whereas, since he left the team, they have become significantly more unpredictable. Above all, Sweden convinces with a dynamic game up front, one that was not yet apparent during the European Championships in 2016. Responsible for this are players like Emil Forsberg, who can cause quite a stir to his left and is one of the assists leaders in the German Bundesliga. With Ola Toivonen and John Guidetti, their squad also boasts strikers who are quite capable of converting his passes in the blink of an eye. Robustness in midfield will be provided by the likes of Hiljemark and Ekdal, while we shouldn’t overlook the veteran Sebastian Larsson in this regard either. There is yet another reason why we find the Swedish strength on the wings: Their backs Mikael Lustig (right) and above all Ludwig Augustinsson (left) are enormously dangerous up front, getting involved in the attack time and time again. A fact that world-class teams like France were forced to recognize during qualifying for the World Cup. Sweden managed to beat the European Championships finalists at home 2:1, and only barely missed out on winning the group. That said, their most recent results in preparation for the World Cup have surprised somewhat. In their last three internationals, the Swedes were unable to score a single goal, instead having to satisfy themselves with a 0:0 against Denmark as well as yet another scoreless draw in their World Cup dress rehearsal against Peru. In March, they lost against Romania (0:1) and Chile (1:2). Yet another interesting fact: In 2018, in no single match did the Swedes give up more than one goal, even if that did only suffice for one victory.

Current Form of South Korea

South Korea is probably the biggest underdog in Group F. But precisely because of that, the pressure in this first match is squarely on the shoulders of their opponents, Sweden, something that can be decisive in such a big tournament as this. However, the Asians were not always convincing in their immediate preparations for the World Cup finals. While they did indeed enjoy a 2:0 win over Honduras, that particular opponent is significantly smaller caliber then their upcoming rival. Against Bosnia-Herzegovina just a few days later, they had to accept a 1:3 defeat, while against Bolivia they only managed a 0:0 in front of their own crowd. The team from Bosnia compares most closely with the Swedes as an opponent, which is why we pay closer attention to that particular duel. In that match, Korea was the weaker team in many regards, though we should note, they were taking on an enormously efficient squad. Bosnia converted 3 of just 5 shots on goal, while the Koreans only managed to put one of their 4 opportunities in the back of the net. When it came to ball possession and control of the match, at 45% they lagged significantly behind the Bosnians. Though let it be said: The Koreans approach has never been to dominate ball possession. Instead, they rely on getting the ball across midfield as quickly as possible as well as the technical skills of their strikers. The team also has to confront the fact that, offensively, for better or for worse they are very much dependent on the form of individual players on any given day. In this regard, we mention especially Tottenham star Heung-min Son, who was actually rested against Bosnia. We also see an additional ray of hope in Salzburg striker Hee-Chan Hwang, whose quickness and aggressiveness can be counted on to occupy defenders and create holes for his teammates to exploit. Defensively, as we have said, physical issues could prove to be a problem, especially since the Swedish squad is enormously robust, which will result in a distinct advantage especially in set-piece situations. Also at the goalkeeper position, the Koreans are not necessarily star-studded. Overall, in the course of their 2018 internationals South Korea was only able to celebrate 2 victories out of 8 matches in total. Other than Honduras, they also managed to beat Latvia, losing against Poland and Northern Ireland, both of whom are also physically strong teams. Their experiences in Group A during World Cup qualifying also bore out the same problem, with South Korea unable to find a remedy for Iran. Also, as the second-place finisher in their group, they allowed 10 goals-against in 10 matches, the second-worst record in the entire group phase, just behind bottom dweller Qatar.

Prediction and Betting Tip

We expect a tight match with both teams tending to be rather cautious. When considering our bets, this match represents a tough challenge. That said, we recommend going with an over/under wager. Our choice: under 2.5 goals.

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