South Korea vs Belgium team sheet

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Football News

Belgium have already secured their passage into the last 16 of the World Cup courtesy of victory in their opening two fixtures meaning, for them, the last encounter against South Korea represents an opportunity to top Group F.

Can South Korea progress?

South Korea, meanwhile, may be at the foot of the group with only a point to their name, but will if they can secure a comprehensive win over Belgium and hope the result of the Russia vs Algeria game is in their favour.

A triumph by three clear goals is what South Korea have to achieve told have any chance to reaching the second round and, even if they are able to pull of this unlikely result, Russia and Algeria must draw, or the former clinch a narrow win.

However, the Koreans face a tough prospect indeed at maintaining their end of the bargain, with their leaky defence unlikely to keep out a Belgium side brimming with attacking talent. In their last outing, Korea lost 4-2 to Algeria, hardly famed for their goalscoring, with the first three goals coming in the first-half.

Lukaku out - Januzaj in

Although Belgium have not appeared as clinical as they could have in the group phase, despite the two victories, they will still be expected to win and to win well against the Koreans, and extinguish their World Cup ambitions.

The biggest selection decision for Wilmots appeared whether to retain Romelu Lukaku, who had started in the successes over Algeria and Russia, or to give a starting berth to Divock Origi, who scored a last gasp winner against the latter.

Given that Belgium's passage was already secure, Lukaku has been left out, along with Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne. Origi, however, does not make the XI, although Adnan Januzaj earns his Belgium debut.

The teams

Korea XI: S G Kim, S Y Yun, Y G Kim, H M Son, Y Lee, J C Koo, K Y Han, S Y Ki, C Y Lee, S W Kim, J H Hong.

Belgium XI: Courtois, Vertonghen, Fellaini, Mirallas, Mertens, Van Buyten, Defour, Lombaerts, Dembele, Januzaj, Vanden Borre.

Defensive stars missing

Belgium are without two experienced defenders for this clash, with Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen both not deemed fit enough to take part, but Wilmots’ side do possess enough options to provide cover.

These injuries will become a far more pressing concern in the next stage of the season, with the Belgians pencilled into face the USA if they are able to, as expected, win their group.

Punishment for not doing so will be an encounter with Germany, who beat the USA 1-0 on Thursday evening courtesy of a goal from Thomas Muller.

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Jan Vertonghen
Thomas Vermaelen
Romelu Lukaku
World Cup
Vincent Kompany

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