The 2018 FIFA World Cup continues Monday as Sweden and South Korea go head to head in what’s one of the tougher groups on paper. Sweden will be competing at this stage for the first time in a while without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, while South Korea will be hoping to re-create the magic of their fourth-place finish as co-hosts in 2002.
Let’s take a closer look at where the value’s at in this match.
What to Watch For
Betting on the Draw: Odds — at 3.23 — indicate there’s a 31 percent chance of a draw. AccuScore sims, however, have a draw in 36 percent of matches, suggesting some added value on the draw.
The average score in sims is 0.82 – 0.67, in favor of Sweden.
Welcome Back: This year’s tournament is Sweden’s first World Cup campaign since 2006.
Post-Zlatan Sweden: Sweden may now be without one of the best finishers the sport has ever seen, but they are are much more well-balanced team. Marcus Berg leads the way on one end of the pitch, while defender and captain Andreas Granqvist holds the back line in check for coach Janne Andersson. Add in someone like attacking midfielder Emil Forsberg and the recipe for success is all there for a team like Sweden to make it out of the group stage.
Korea’s Main Weapon: How successful Korea is in this match depends largely on Tottenham forward Son Heung-min. Son became the most expensive Asian soccer player in history when he signed for Tottenham at $30 million in 2015. At 25-years-old, Son brings plenty of experience and lessons learned to a tournament in which fans of Korea will not accept a repeat of 2014.
South Korea’s X-Factor: This team will hope for 6-foot-6 striker Kim Shin-wook to make an impact from the opening match vs Sweden. His height and power in the air have rightfully earned him the nickname, Chinook, after the helicopter.
Son leads the way for Korea in the simulations and has 23-plus percent chance of scoring vs Sweden. Son averages 1.36 shots overall per sim, 0.48 shots on goal per sim, and 0.27 goals per sim.
Prediction provide by: Accuscore.com