Argentina V South Korea Preview – Thursday, 17th June (Group B)

16th June 2010 | World Cup Betting category: World Cup Previews & Predictions
World Cup Previews & Predictions

 

Argentina V South Korea Preview

Kick-off: Thursday, 17th June – 12:30 GMT
Stadium: Soccer City Stadium, Johnannesburg
Referee: Frank de Bleckere (Belgium)
Group B

 

Argentina

Argentina, originally rated fourth most likely to win the 2010 FIFA World Cup according to punters and bookmakers, made the best possible start in South Africa with a 1-0 victory over African side Nigeria. The only goal of the game came via the head of defender Gabriel Heinze, formerly of Manchester United, and while their passionate supporters back home were expecting something along the lines of a rout in Johannesburg, the Argentine players thought otherwise and instead preferred to carry on winning games by the slimmest of margins like they did throughout a tense qualifying campaign.

It goes without saying that Argentina are expected to push on from their 1-0 win over Greece, to improve their World Cup reputation by adding more goals to their game. They have the strikers to do so, although that only adds to the expectancy surrounding the camp, but it does raise an interesting question in just why a country boasting so many world-class forwards can’t overhaul their opponents in an emphatic fashion. Let’s face it, Diego Maradona has a ridiculous amount of forward talent at his disposal, with Higuain, Tevez and Messi all on the pitch strutting their stuff as Sergio Aguro and Diego Milito warm the bench. Because the original starting three only conjured one goal, none if you really think about, will the controversial Maradona ring the changes, with Higuain in particular facing the chop after some rust finishing against the Nigerians.

Every World Cup Argentine turn up at they are expected to do well, heck they are generally an outright market frontrunner most of the time. However, what we have currently is an Argentina squad which hasn’t coped at all well under pressure, simply cannot cope with targets being set, so Carlos Tevez’s recent comments suggesting anything less than lifting the trophy on July 11th will be deemed a failure by all Argentine’s has us alarmed for the mental sakes of the Argentina squad. Even a one Lionel Messi, the greatest player on the planet at this moment in time, has tended to shy away from the limelight whenever he wears his Argentine shirt, so I’m shocked comments like that are being deemed acceptable by Maradona & Co although the former cheat is just as arrogant and confident about his country’s chances as the next Argentinian.

Like most, we were hugely disappointed with Argentina’s opening game in that they never really looked comfortable against an opponent, granted can be dangerous, they should of despatched without too much fuss. Their defence, one which contained Gutierrez at right-back (Winger by trade) was carved open on so many occasion by the use of pace from Nigeria. They did do well at keeping possession for large periods of time, a trait which has always been in the blood of Argentina teams in the past, but it reverts straight back to what they do with it, which just so happened to be next to nothing. Their goal came from a set-piece and despite some brief moments of magic from Messi, who was denied on several occasions by some sublime keeping, Argentina looked ordinary in the final third. An area which definitely needs looking into.

 

South Korea

The Koreans were surprisingly the country which impressed us most after all the first round of group games were completed, destroying the resilience and well built Greek rearguard to record a 2-0 victory. South Korea completely outplayed the 2004 European Champions and as a direct result have got themselves into a prominent position in Group B, leading the way currently on goal difference ahead of their next opponents, Argentina. For a country which has qualified for the knock-outs on just one previous occasion, with even that rare occurrence coming on home soil, it’s some some going although it’s still early days and while we’re ranting and raving about their opening result, we only hope the players heads are firmly on the ground and focused on their next task.

Park Ji-Sung topped scored for South Korea in qualifying and it was the Manchester United stalwart which grabbed the crucial second against Greece, the goal which effectively killed off the game. Park was instrumental throughout in all honesty, eager to get on the ball while some of his passes were pinpoint. The midfield was quick to close down Greece whenever the Europeans got hold of the ball, which wasn’t all that often, with our only real criticism of South Korea being their defence in that they could of got tighter to some of the Greek attackers, as should they give the likes of Messi and Tevez the same amount of lean way, they are sure to concede. The Korea goalkeeper, Lee Woon Jae, will also need to be on top of his game, as Nigerian kept the scoring to a minimum thanks to the display of their shot-stopper.

We’re honest enough to say that we are getting a bit too carried away with South Korea’s victory over Greece, as after all it was only Greece and the Greeks didn’t really bother to turn up. You also have to take into consideration Korea’s next opponents are that of World Cup winning quality, a team packed to rafters with high-quality individuals and match winners. Argentine are like no opponent South Korea have faced in competitive action for years, not since 2006 in fact, so it will be interesting to see how coach Huh Jung-Moo sets his side up for the barrage of attacks that awaits his South Korea team. We certainly don’t doubt the commitment of his players, as their application has always been unquestionable, but it’s going to take one huge collective team effort to even get a point against the Argentinian’s and whether South Korea can last the whole game harrying and running around after the ball is debatable.

South Korea have a terrible record when it comes to qualifying for the knock-outs in World Cup’s, with a 1 in 7 strike rate thus far. Their hard-fought 2-0 win over Greece however has left them in control of their own destiny and if they could somehow squeeze even a point out of this contest, it would set them up nicely for the Round of 16, leaving South Korea needing only to avoid defeat in their final game against Nigeria to be certain of a last-sixteen berth. That’s an appealing incentive for any nation, and we expect another courageous and industrious effort from the Asian side in a match where they’ll feel absolutely no pressure to win.

 

World Cup Preview – Argentina V South Korea Betting Tips

Match Odds:

Argentina – 1.50 Bet365
Draw – 4.50 Boylesports
South Korea – 8.50 totesport

 

Our Prediction: Argentina to Win – 1.50 Bet365

Whether it’s our gut instinct kicking in we don’t know, but we see goals in this game between two teams who won’t hold back. Of course, when not on the ball, South Korea will look to put as many men behind the ball as possible in order to protect parity, but they won’t be afraid to bomb forward when they gather possession themselves, and this South Korea side are quick, mobile and very agile. They’ll be a handful even for the great Argentina.

However, the factor which claimed our deciding vote was the list of forwards in the Argentina squad. With Messi, Higuain, Tevez or Milito charging at your defence, you’re always going to concede goal and with that it’s difficult to see how South Korea can keep this game competitive. The funny thing is, we can see South Korea scoring, perhaps even a few judging by how easily Nigeria carved open their defence, but if this game does open up, like we expect it will, it will play into Argentina’s favour and if this game does become a ‘who can score more’ contest we see only one winner.

Th tournament so far has shied away from entertaining games. We feel this one has the potential to be a corker.

Our Recommended Bet: Over 3.5 Goals – 4.50 Boylesports




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