Monday, June 21, 2010

Portugal vs North Korea - Preview

North Korea

Group G, 11:30 GMT, June 21, 2010
Green Point Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa

Portugal go into the game as favourites, but one feels that there is a possibility of an upset on the cards, given the recent form of the two sides. If Korea are to make an impact on the finals - more so than confusing stories over 'missing' players and interest in their fans' chants - then this may be the game in which to do it.

Team Stat Comparison

PortugalNorth Korea
Matches Played11
Table Position34
Goal Difference0-1
Goals for *0.01.0
Goals against *0.02.0
Last 5DL
Last 5 home
Last 5 awayDL
*  Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club
Stats: Portugal | North Korea

Competition Stats

PortugalNorth Korea
GoalsJi Yun-Nam 1
YellowsCristiano Ronaldo 1
Squads: Portugal | North Korea

Portugal player to watch: Tiago: With Deco out injured, Tiago is likely to come in to replace him. He may not have shined while at Chelsea, but the midfielder has a wealth of experience at the top of the game and has a good range of passing that can unlock a defence. Having gone on loan to Atletico Madrid from Juventus in order to seal his spot in the squad, he will be keen to prove he is worthy of keeping it.
North Korea player to watch: Ji Yun-Nam. He finished off a decent move against Brazil to give the North Koreans their first goal at this year's finals and played his part in the game filling in at left-back. Full of experience, he will attempt to get forward when he can, but will find himself up against pace, tricks and creativity from Portugal's front three.
Key Battle: Liedson v Pak Chol-Jin: The Brazilian-born striker has the burden of goalscoring upon his shoulders and it is a position in which Portugal have suffered, essentially since the retirement of Eusebio. Liedson has the aerial ability as well as the power in the box that a central striker needs, but has been lacking some decent service of late. Pak's job will be to keep it that way and his resolve at the back proved indispensible in the qualifying campaign. A gritty and committed defender, he will be in for a busy afternoon.
Trivia: Portugal and Italy are the only two sides to have played both South and North Korea at World Cups.
Stats: North Korea's three goals scored against Portugal in their 1966 World Cup quarter-final defeat is still the only time an Asian side has scored three times in a World Cup match.
Odds: Portugal (1.33), North Korea (10.00), the draw (4.50) are all on offer atBet365, but Cristiano Ronaldo to score first is a safe bet at 4.00.
Prediction: North Korea have already shown that they will be tough to break down and a draw could be on the cards if Portugal's attack continues to misfire.

Portugal 2-0 as they are one of the powerful sides.

For Ronaldo and his boys..

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