Placed alongside pre-tournament favorites Argentina and a talented Nigeria team in World Cup Group B, both South Korea and Greece will surely have identified this first-round match up at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium as a must-win game. The South Korean team were not at their best in the qualifying stages but managed to ease their way to South Africa undefeated against relatively poor opposition, eventually beating the United Arab Emirates 2-0 to secure their place. Likewise, the Greek team made hard work of qualifying for South Africa 2010 – finishing second place in their qualification group before overcoming a strong Ukraine team in a tight play-off game.
South Korea vs Greece Odds for Betting June 12th World Cup Match:
Greece are best remembered by international soccer fans for their Euro 2004 victory, when their well-organized, defensive style of soccer helped them overcome more celebrated opponents such as France and Portugal on their way to winning the tournament. The key for this Greece squad and their legendary coach Otto Rehhagel will be in replicating the disciplined style of their Euro 2004 triumph during their games in South Africa where they will be looking for their first ever victory in a World Cup match. Greece’s chances in the tournament rely on veterans Sotirios Kyrgiakos (Liverpool) and Theofanis Gekas (Bayer Leverkusen). The giant Liverpool defender, Kyrgiakos, has enjoyed a good season in the Premier League, despite some shaky moments early on in the campaign, and he will be important as a leader on the field, as well as being a danger to the opposition from set-pieces, which Otto Rehhagel ‘s team have been known to use to great effect. The form of the diminutive Theofanis Gekas is the main reason Greece are involved in South Africa 2010. His 10-goal haul in group qualification was instrumental in their successful qualifying campaign and the Greeks will be hoping that his link-up play with the likes of highly-rated young playmaker Sotiris Ninis (Panathaniakos) can steer Greece to unlikely World Cup glory.
The South Korean team are becoming the perennial dark horses of the World Cup. In 2002, they received plaudits from soccer fans around the world for their fast-passing and energetic play as they achieved a semi-final place in the World Cup tournament, which they co-hosted with Japan. Look for the same type of game for the South Koreans this time around, albeit without the Dutch master Gurus Hiddink at the helm. New coach, Huh Jung Moo prefers a 4-4-2 formation and, like his predecessor, will look to Manchester United star midfielder Park-Ji-Sung for inspiration in his position playing just behind the main striker – likely to be mercurial Monaco forward Park Chu-Young. South Korean fans will also be hoping that the exciting Bolton Wanderers winger Chung-Yong Lee can continue his impressive Premier League form and present his more experienced team-mates with the chances to help build on South Korea’s burgeoning World Cup reputation.
The Greek team are considered favorites in this match-up. But Otto Rehhagel’s team are going to have to rely on heavily on their defense, as will look to sit-back and try to take the advantage by pushing players forward, if they get a set-piece opportunity. The South Korean team is extremely quick and efficient with the ball on the field, where they will attempt to use their superior energy levels to help them overcome a rapidly aging Greek line-up.
South Korea vs Greece Prediction: South Korea 2-0 Greece.
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