Tournament favourites Brazil to dispatch South Korea with ease? Inform your World Cup round of 16 predictions ahead of the first knockout round of Qatar 2022.
Listen to the latest World Cup 2022 Insights podcast
Host Gareth Wheeler is joined once more by Jake Osgathorpe, Andrew Beasley and Simon Edwards to review the World Soccer Cup 2022 Group Stage and look ahead to the last 16 ties.
South Korea can make life tough, but Brazil should progress
Many would suggest that Brazil had been the most impressive team in the group stages until their 1-0 defeat to Cameroon, although that was with a much-changed line-up.
The five-time champions still topped Group G and several of their big-name stars will return for Monday night’s showdown with South Korea.
Paulo Bento’s men secured their place in the round of 16 with a dramatic late win against Portugal and will now look to cause another shock in the knockout stage.
South Korea have lost just two of their last 12 internationals but will be massive underdogs against a Brazil team who didn’t lose a game during South American qualifying.
Tite’s team conceded just five goals in 17 games en route to Qatar, with just two goals scored against them in their last six matches before the World Cup.
Richarlison has taken most of the headlines so far, scoring twice in the group stage to take his international tally to 19 goals from 40 appearances.
These two teams met in a friendly earlier this year, with Brazil running out 5-1 winners in that clash in Seoul back in June.
In fact, if South Korea are to progress, they will have to do something they haven’t done since 1998 – beat Brazil.
The big news heading into this clash at Stadium 974 in Doha is the fact that Neymar is fit and available again for Brazil.
The Paris Saint-Germain ace picked up an ankle ligament injury in his nation’s opening game against Serbia and there were some concerns that his tournament could be over.
But the 30-year-old was due to train on Sunday and if he feels no ill effects, Tite says he will play. Neymar himself said on social media that he ‘feels good’.
Brazil will need to keep the ball and dictate the pace of the play.
Danilo, who also suffered an ankle problem against Serbia, is expected to join Neymar in the squad.
It’s not good news, though, for Gabriel Jesus and Alex Telles, with both players ruled out of the remainder of the tournament.
Hwang Hee-chan, who scored the winner against Portugal, has fully recovered from a hamstring problem and is pushing for a starting berth.
Meanwhile, South Korea are waiting for fitness updates on Kim Min-jae, Kim Young-gwon, and Lee Kang-in.
Brazil vs. South Korea Predictions
Brazil [-350] [1.285] will need to keep the ball and dictate the pace of the play, with South Korea keen to play a high-energy style of game.
Even though they have looked like a well-organised unit, we’re still waiting to see the flair that we have come to expect from Brazil.
They haven’t dominated the ball as some of the other major nations have, having 59%, 54%, and 65% possession in the three group games.
The return of Neymar, though, could provide the spark they need, and they should have enough in reserve to see off a stubborn South Korean [+1100] [12.000] side.
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