Uruguay vs South Korea is next two-time World Cup winners Uruguay take on 2002 semi-finalists South Korea in the opening match of Group H this Thursday.
The first match of the pool pits Uruguay against South Korea in what is widely expected to be an action-packed encounter.
Two-time World Cup winners Uruguay will come into it as slight favourites, given their form throughout 2022 so far, where they've lost just one of their nine international outings in the calendar year.
But South Korea won't be pushovers on their 11th World Cup appearance — the most by any Asian nation throughout competition history — even if they did exit at the group stage in nine of those campaigns.
Uruguay's only injury concern is Barcelona centre-back Ronald Araujo, who has been out since late September. Araujo has still been included in Diego Alonso's squad for the World Cup, but is unlikely to return in time to feature in the competition unless La Celeste progress to at least the semi-finals.
South Korea manager Paulo Bento faces an anxious wait to see if captain and star player Son Heung-min is available for his side's opening bout.
Another possible absentee is left-back Kim Jin-su, who is still recovering from a hamstring injury suffered at the beginning of November.
The two teams have locked horns eight times across all competitions, with six of these meetings being friendlies. Uruguay have dominated proceedings against the Asian team with six wins to their name. Korea have picked up just one win while one game ended in a draw.
They have met twice in the FIFA World Cup as well. Uruguay have a 100% record in these meetings, recording a 1-0 win in 1990 and defeating Korea 2-1 in the 2010 World Cup.
Exactly half of the meetings between the two teams have produced over 2.5 goals.
Uruguay have scored at least a goal in each of their eight games against Korea, while Korea have failed to score in four games in that period.
Both teams have suffered just one defeat in their last nine games across all competitions.
Uruguay starting 11 (4-3-3): Rochet; Varela, Godin, Gimenez, Olivera; Bentancur, Valverde, Vecino; Pellistri, Suarez, Nunez.
Bench: Muslera, Sosa, Vina, Coates, Caceres, Rodriguez, de la Cruz, de Arrascaeta, Torreira, Ugarte, Gomez, Torres, Cavani, Canobbio.
South Korea starting 11 (4-3-3): Kim Seung-gyu; Yoon Jong-gyu, Kim Min-jae, Kim Young-gwon, Kim Jin-su; Jung Woo-young, Hwang In-beom, Kwon Chang-hoon; Hwang Hee-chan, Hwang Ui-jo, Son Heung-min.
Bench: Song Bum-Keun, Jo Hyeon-woo, Hong Chul, Kim Moon-Hwan, Kwon Kyung-won, Kim Tae-hwan, Cho Yu-min, Paik Seung-ho, Lee Jae-sung, Son Jun-ho, Na Sang-ho, Lee Kang-in, Jeong Woo-yeong, Song Min-kyu, Cho Gue-sung.
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