Few teams enter World Cup action with longer odds than South Korea. At +35000 they are among the top World Cup betting odds underdogs. In fact, qualifying is about the only positive thing that can be said about South Korea. The Taeguk Warriors won only four out of 10 games. They only made it because everyone else in their group was even worse. Which is hardly a ringing endorsement for their chances. Especially in the opening game against Sweden. The Swedes are not the most talented team. But few squads are better disciplined. Or play as one as effectively.
2018 FIFA World Cup South Korea vs. Sweden
Date and Time: Sunday, June 18, 2018, 8 a.m. ET
Location: Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod
World Cup Betting Online Odds at SBG:
|South Korea||+½ (-122)||2 (-116)|
|Sweden||-½ (+107)||2 (+101)|
2018 FIFA World Cup TV Coverage: FS1
Among the reasons for South Korea’s poor World Cup betting odds is 2014. They qualified for the World Cup at Brazil that year. And were absolutely abysmal while there. True, they have made nine consecutive appearances at the tournament. Their best finish was reaching the 2002 semi finals. That was the year that they were host country. But in 2014 they were shut out. They failed to post a single win. With a current FIFA ranking of 61st expectations are low. Inconsistent play recently hardly moves punters to take a chance. And where the goals will come from is a mystery.
Important Names in South Korea
One bright spot for South Korea is attacker Son Heung Min. He scored seven goals in 12 apps during qualifying. With Tottenham Hotspur of the Premier League he added 12 goals in 37 matches. And in UEFA Champions League play for the Spurs he had four markers in seven games. Another key component is Hwang Hee Chan. He has 17 goals with Salzburg of the Bundesliga. Both players missed a lot of time with the national team. Their pro clubs came first. It hasn’t helped South Korea come together.
Shin Tae Yong
Head coach Shin Tae Yong is not a tactical mastermind. But he is a superior motivator. He faces a problem that few if any coaches could overcome. He simply lacks talent depth. South Korea doesn’t have nearly enough good players.
Sweden had an impressive qualifying phase. It ended with a remarkable win over Italy in a playoff. Few teams bring a more effective defensive style. Head coach Janne Andersson got the full buy in on defensive tactics. And it has helped make up for the lack of depth and skill. During qualification Sweden impressed all with seven clean sheets. Such defense makes them the big sportsbook online favorite. Especially against punch-less South Korea. Emil Forsberg will supply much of the offense. The attacking midfielder has top shelf imagination and creativity.
Head coach Janne Andersson
Andersson has impressed all as coach. He has built a culture based on hard work. The entire mental makeup of the team is collective.
Matchup to Watch
Where South Korea gets offense is anyone’s guess. Sweden has more weapons in this World Cup Betting Odds match. Beyond that the Swedes have proven to unite as a team. Their record shows they play well together.
World Cup Betting Odds Picks
Sweden should control the pitch entirely in this one.
World Cup Betting Online Pick: Sweden
World Cup Betting Online Score Prediction: Sweden 1, North Korea 0