By 90Min
June 17, 2018

Sweden and South Korea get their World Cup campaigns underway on Monday afternoon in matchday one for Group F.

Sweden will play their first World Cup game since the 2010 tournament after failing to qualify for the last two finals, and will be looking to put the pressure on the rest of Group F with a win. 

JUNG YEON-JE/GettyImages

As for South Korea, they will be competing at their ninth consecutive World Cup finals and with a wealth of familiar faces in their side, many will be expectant of this experienced side to put in a performance in their first match


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Sweden: DWLLDD

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South Korea: LLWLDL

The Koreans have played nine friendlies since the East Asian Championships, and after winning  of their first three games have now won just one of their last six matches - currently finding themselves on a three game winless streak.

Both sides will be looking to bring their poor form to an end with a win in the opening game and will look to put the pressure on both Germany and Mexico who face off in Group F's other fixture on Sunday.


Managers

Janne Andersson will be taking charge of Sweden at a major tournament for the first time. He was appointed as manager of the national team in 2016 after almost 30 years of experience managing in Sweden. 

He managed five clubs and led IFK Norrokoping to an Allsvenskan title in 2015 after beating title rivals Malmo on the final day of the season. His success at club level soon had the national side calling and it proved to be a worthy appointment, with Andersson helping Sweden secure their spot at the World Cup finals via the playoffs against Italy.

Shin Tae-Yong will be taking charge in the opposition dugout for South Korea. He was named manager of the national team in June 2017 after his impressive spell in charge of the South Korean U-20s side. 

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He took charge of South Korea's final two World Cup qualifying matches, and despite both matches ending in goalless draws against Iran and Uzbekistan, he managed to secure his side's passage to the World Cup finals.


Team News


Sweden

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There is no doubt that with Zlatan Ibrahimovic announcing his retirement from international football, he has left big shoes to fill in the Sweden starting lineup. The man who has taken his place up front is Marcus Berg and whilst it may be seen as a huge downgrade, many believe that with the likes of Emil Forsberg in the midfield and Andreas Granqvist in the defence this is a much more balanced side as opposed to when they used to rely on Ibrahimovic up front.

South Korea

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South Korea now find themselves in the exact predicament Sweden once found themselves in, being heavily reliant on Tottenham forward Son Heung-min for their goals and creativity. He will still have an experienced supporting cast with the likes of Swansea's Ki Sung-yeung and Koo Ja-cheol of FC Augsburg, however Son will need to be on top form if they want to take all three points on Monday.


Predicted Lineups

Sweden (4-4-2): Olsen; Krafth, Lindelöf, Granqvist, Martin; Durmaz, Hiljemark, Ekdal, Forsberg; Berg, Ola Toivonen.


South Korea (3-5-2): Kim Seung-Gyu; Oh Ban-seok, Kim Young-gwon, Jang Hyun-soo; Lee Young, Koo Ja-cheol, Jung Woo-young, Ki Sung-yueng, Kim Min-woo; Son Heung-min, Hwang Hee-chan.


Prediction

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Having not scored in their last three games, Sweden are clearly missing Ibrahimovic's presence in the side - especially in the final third of the pitch. The game will come down to whether South Korea will have the quality to break down the Swedish defence of Granqvist and Lindelof, and a moment of quality will be enough for the Koreans to secure a win.

Prediction: Sweden 0-1 South Korea

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