There’s been such a strange set of results recently (Spain 0 Switzerland 1, Brazil 2 North Korea 1, New Zealand 1 Slovakia 1), that to suggest Argentina will overturn a decent South Korea could represent a failure to recognise a growing pattern of tight games.
In their opening win against Greece, South Korea displayed an attacking formation and utilised set pieces well. They nullified Greece to bursts down the left wing and long balls – most of which Gekas was unable to cope with. Argentina are a better team and will represent a tougher challenge, so more counter-attacking is to be expected.
For Argentina, who huffed and puffed against a resolute Nigeria, this game presents tougher opposition. Lionel Messi, in particular, will find less space to create around dogged attention from Kim Jung-Woo and Ki Sung-Yong. The prospect of facing tougher striking talent in the shape of Park Chu-Young and Park Ji-Sung will not deter Maradona from selecting the very much out of place Jonas Gutierrez as a right back, instead of Nicolas Burdisso.
A tight affair. Both teams are adept at high-stakes situations like this. Both teams will expect to make the Last-16 – with this in mind, a low-scoring draw is not an unfair result on either. Top of the table South Korea and second place Argentina may come away with a point each from a 1-1 or maybe even 0-0.