After winning Group G, Brazil faces Group H runners-up South Korea in the round of 16 of Qatar 2022. We have a preview of the knockout stage match before kick-off at Stadium 974, Doha, on Monday , with additional information from our soccer predictions supercomputer. .
Brazil vs South Korea preview
Brazil’s World Cup round of 16 clash with South Korea on Monday promises to be an emotional occasion for everyone associated with the Seleção.
The game comes after reports emerged on Saturday that legendary former striker Pele is now receiving palliative care in hospital after his body stopped responding to cancer treatment.
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Pelé helped Brazil to three World Cup successes and is revered by many as the greatest player in the game.
The 82-year-old remains an iconic figure in Brazilian soccer, and the team will no doubt have him in mind when they take on South Korea at Estadio 974 on Monday.
Presumably current talisman Neymar will be even more desperate to get into the match, with tributes to Pele expected from players and fans alike.
The Paris Saint-Germain star injured his ankle on matchday one and sat out the rest of the group stage, with Brazil managing to top their section despite a loss to Cameroon on Friday.
Brazil have always held out hope that Neymar could make it to the round of 16, and his father said in an interview earlier in the week that he would “return to his best” in time for the final, assuming the five-time winners did. . that far.
It would appear that Neymar has a chance to show up on Monday, and captain Thiago Silva suggested he was not out of the question.
“It depends a lot on training,” he said. “It looks like there will be a little more testing on the field, I don’t know if he will put on his boots.
“Only from that moment on can we convey something more concrete to you, but until then I cannot get ahead of the doctor about this situation.
“[The injury] You have to try it, to see how the ankle is, if it can hold up or not, if it’s going to hurt a little. You will have pain, that is part of it, I have had this type of injury.
“However, if everything goes according to plan, the hope is that it will be available. But I’ll leave that to Tite and the doctor.
Brazil will be without Gabriel Jesus and Alex Telles, both ruled out for the remainder of the tournament, making Neymar’s potential return all the more important, along with the continued high level of performance from stars like Richarlison and Vinicius Jr.
However, they will be firm favorites having progressed in each of their last seven World Cup round of 16 matches, last being knocked out at this stage in 1990 against Argentina.
Similarly, South Korea have not played a knockout game in the tournament since 2010, with their only win (not including penalties) after the group stage coming as co-hosts in 2002 when they beat Italy in the round of 16.
But coach Tite insists that Brazil, who beat South Korea 5-1 in their last head-to-head in June, will not be complacent.
“I think these are very strong, very tough matches. I don’t think we can think that some previous situation makes it easy.
“We have to be very careful. We were very careful with the game against Cameroon. We were. We cannot say that it is easier and we have an advantage. We can’t say that.”
Similarly, Hwang Hee-chan, scorer of the decisive goal for South Korea in the dramatic 2-1 win over Portugal that brought them to the expense of Uruguay and Ghana, is adamant that the Taeguk Warriors are not in the round of 16. end just to compose the numbers.
“The fact that we play against Brazil does not mean that we will be happy to be there in the round of 16,” he said. “Our goal is to win and give our people something to be happy about. We are not only happy to be here. We want to play well and win for our fans”.
Players to watch Brazil: Raphinha
With Kim one of South Korea’s biggest dangers, Raphinha will want to be firing on all cylinders to keep the left-back busy and as deep as possible.
But on top of that, Brazil’s injury woes could result in a somewhat improvised back line. It would appear that 39-year-old Dani Alves or centre-back Eder Militao will start at right-back, and they will be keen for some support, particularly as Son Heung-min also operates from the left as he initially did against Portugal.
South Korea: Kim Jin-su
One of South Korea’s main attack routes in this tournament has been down the left flank, with quality deliveries from Kim Jin-su a real feature.
Only three defenders have registered more crosses in open play than their 14, while Joao Cancelo (six) is the only full-back to have completed more than Kim (five). Cho Gue-sung has already proven to be an air threat in Qatar, and they will need to deploy all possible forces against the Selecao.
Brazil vs South Korea betting tip and prediction
Brazil is, as expected, big favorites for this. Our supercomputer, famous for its World Cup predictions, gives them a 76.2% chance of advancing to the quarterfinals.
South Korea, on the other hand, is rated just 8.2% to win at full time in this tie. But then again, who made them go this far before Matchday 3?
The Opta Challenge: World Cup Round of 16 Games
Of course, there are seven other qualifiers left to play in this first knockout phase of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. You can play our Opta Challenge game for each of these, for a chance to win $500. Click the links to below to play (terms and conditions apply).
Argentina vs. Australia: Play here
France vs. Poland: Play here
England vs. Senegal: Play here
Portugal vs. Switzerland: Coming Soon