World Cup 2022 Team Preview - South Korea

South Korea's odds to win the World Cup

250/1

Best World Cup

4th place 2002 

2018 World Cup

Group stage

South Korea's World Cup Schedule

Date

Fixture

Location

24th November 1pm

Uruguay v South Korea

Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan

28th November  1pm

South Korea v Ghana

Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan

2nd December 3pm

South Korea v Portugal

Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan

Road to Qatar

After cruising through their preliminary group, South Korea quickly imposed themselves on the final group that included Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and the UAE. Despite two early draws, five straight victories was more than enough to get them to Qatar, and even though a last-game defeat at the United Arab Emirates cost them top spot to Iran, their qualification had already been assured with games to spare.

Recent form

South Korea will be keen to learn from recent emphatic defeats to Brazil (1-5) and Japan (0-3), and build on their more successful outings that has brought five wins and two draws since securing their spot in Qatar. September's friendlies saw a late goal earn a hard-earned 2-2 draw with Costa Rica, while their subsequent 1-0 success against Cameroon was followed by the same winning scoreline in last week's encounter with Iceland, which, along with the news that Heung-Min Son has declared himself fit, should bring the Koreans to the finals in good spirits.

South Korea squad

Goalkeepers: Kim Seung-gyu (Al Shabab), Jo Hyeon-woo (Ulsan Hyundai), Song Bum-keun (Jeonbuk Motors)

Defenders: Kim Min-jae (Napoli), Kim Jin-su (Jeonbuk Motors), Hong Chul (Daegu FC), Kim Moon-hwan (Jeonbuk Motors), Yoon Jong-gyu (FC Seoul), Kim Young-gwon (Ulsan Hyundai), Kim Tae-hwan (Ulsan Hyundai), Kwon Kyung-won (Gamba Osaka), Cho Yu-min (Daejon Citizen)

Midfielders: Jung Woo-young (Al Sadd), Na Sang-ho (FC Seoul), Paik Seung-ho (Jeonbuk Motors), Son Jun-ho (Shandong Taishan), Song Min-kyu (Jeonbuk Motors), Kwon Chang-hoon (Gimcheon Sangmu), Lee Jae-sung (Mainz), Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Hwang In-beom (Olympiacos), Jeong Woo-yeong (Freiburg), Lee Kang-in (Real Mallorca)

Forwards: Hwang Ui-jo (Olympiacos), Cho Gue-sung (Jeonbuk Motors), Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur)

Team insights

Probable line-up: 4-5-1 Although setting up with that defensive looking formation, South Korea's traditional game plan of breaking rapidly in transition can turn them rapidly into a more adventurous 4-3-3 when in possession. With few big names to catch the eye, the news that Tottenham Hotspur star, Heung-Min Son, has declared himself fit for selection is a major boost. South Korea will be desperate for him to be fit enough to replicate his Premier League heroics on the world's biggest stage. His pace, mobility and skill on the break will be crucial in the final third, as will that of Hwang Hee-chan, who has also caught the eye in the English top flight with Wolves. 

World Cup prospects

South Korea rarely fail to catch the eye, but often fail to deliver the goods, and have not progressed to the knockout phase in seven out of nine consecutive World Cup appearances. With Portugal and Uruguay in the way, it is difficult to see the Koreans bucking that trend in Qatar, although regardless of how they do in their first game, if they can beat Ghana in their second outing, then they should have everything to play for when they take on Portugal in the final game. Best hope: Last 16 if Son produces

Read more about each of South Korea's Group H opponents:

Portugal, Uruguay, Ghana