FIFA World Cup 2014 Predictions: Match #16 Russia vs. Korea Republic

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | June 13, 2014 5:01 PM EST

Final Score

Russia 1 Korea Republic 1

REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
Russia's national soccer team goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev takes part in the training session at the municipal stadium in the town of Itu north-west of Sao Paulo June 12, 2014.

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Overview

The sixteenth match of the FIFA World Cup 2014 is going to be held between Russia and Korea Republic. The Group H match should be interesting as it is a must-win match for both to secure a spot in the next round, more because Belgium looks set to finish on top of the table.

Teams

Russia: Russia, the host of the 2018 World Cup, has Fabio Capello as its coach. He was England's coach in the 2010 World Cup. Capello has surely made a positive impact on Russia. Traditionally considered to be a team with weak defence, it has conceded only 5 goals in the qualifying rounds. It may have difficulty in coping with the extreme climatic difference it shares with Brazil. It won against Morocco (2-0) and Slovakia (1-0) while drawing it against Norway (1-1) in pre-World Cup friendlies. It lost its captain Roman Shirokov at the last moment due to his knee injury. Russia will depend a lot on its star striker Alexander Kokorin.

Korea Republic: This is the 8th consecutive occasion the Republic of Korea (South Korea) qualified (9 in total). Its best performance came in 2002 when it reached the semi-finals. It has always played well-organised football. It reached the knock-out stages in 2002 and 2010. It will make things difficult for other teams in the group, including Russia. It lost to Ghana (0-4) and Tunisia (0-1) in pre-World cCup friendlies. Known for speed and energy, Korea has a young team that can surprise Russia. Midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng and captain Koo Ja-Cheol will have a big role to play in this match.

Head to Head

Russia won the only match it played against Korea Republic (2-1).

Key Players

Russia: Aleksandr Kokorin & Igor Akinfeev

Korea Republic: Koo Ja-Cheol & Ki Sung-Yueng

Date, Time & Venue

Brazil's time zone is UTC/GMT -3. The match starts at 6 pm (local time) on June 17, which means it is 8 am on June 18 in New South Wales, Australia. The match will be held at Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba.

Prediction

This is going to be a competitive match. The goalkeepers will have a tough time. Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev will save the match for Russia which will win it 2-1.

Group Predictions

Group A, Group B, Group C, Group D, Group E, Group F, Group G & Group H

Reference: FIFA

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au

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(Photo: REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov / )
Russia's national soccer team goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev takes part in the training session at the municipal stadium in the town of Itu north-west of Sao Paulo June 12, 2014.
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