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Jon Riley 16th Jun 2010 - 7:40

Hand of God vs Eaters of Dog!

The table toppers in Group B meet in Johannesburg with the victor almost guaranteed to qualify for the knockout stages of the 2010 World Cup.

Argentina defeated Nigeria 1-0 in their opening match but it was only the superb performance of the Nigerian keeper Vincent Enyeama that kept the scoreline so low.

Maradona's talented side could not find a second goal after Gabriel Heinze's diving header and nearly ended up paying for it. Their suspect defence could have been punished if it wasn't for the Africans wastefulness in front of goal late on in the game.

South Korea, the Taegeuk Warriors, were impressive in their victory against 2004 European Champions Greece. They outclassed their European opposition with a confident display of pace and precise football.

Manchester United star and national team captain Park Ji-Sung slotted home the vital second goal after Lee Jung-Soo had volleyed the South Koreans into a first half lead.

Argentina are favourites to make it two wins from their opening two matches and La Albiceleste can be backed at 4/11 to triumph in 90 minutes. Indeed, the South American's have won both previous meetings between the nations, including a 3-1 victory in the group stages of the 1986 World Cup. For all you believers in fate, omens or superstition you'll remember that Argentina went on to lift the trophy that same year.

The South Koreans have undoubtedly improved since then with players gracing major leagues across the world. They are still huge underdogs in 2010 and are priced at 8/1 to shock Argentina and win the game.

With the number of drawn matches in the tournament so far it cannot be discounted. Six of the fourteen group games that have taken place upto now have finished all square. A draw here seems unlikely but might still be worth a flutter at 7/2.

Lionel Messi is the undoubted superstar of the Argentina squad, maybe even the World Cup. Only inspired keeping from Nigeria's Enyeama prevented him from hitting the back of the net. The Barcelona star could have netted a hat-trick in truth and is 11/4 to open the scoring against South Korea and 12/1 to bag a trio of goals.

His eight attempts on goal in the first match is the most by a player so far in South Africa so the law of averages suggests a goal is not too far away.

If South Korea's defence can keep Messi quiet then there's only the small matter of stopping Tevez (4/1 first goal, EVS anytime), Higuain (10/3, 4/5), Milito (7/2, 10/11) and Aguero (4/1, EVS). The plethora of devastating attacking options at Maradona's disposal is the envy of the majority of world football. Surely, one of these sublime strikers will break the deadlock early on for La Albiceleste.

South Korea are definitely not minnows on the international stage and will be going for goals also. They could get some joy against a static and unconvincing Argentina defence that looked shaky against Nigeria. Park Chu-Young (12/1 first scorer) is the main attacking threat but manager Jung-Moo Huh can also call on Dong-Guk Lee(14/1) and Park Ji-Sung (20/1).

The Taegeuk Warriors best hopes could be to get down the flanks to attack the Argentinians. Maradona persists with Jonas Gutierrez at right back, and this is where the Koreans could find some joy.

I feel that this match could be one of the higher scoring matches considering the attacking flair on talent on display. I would be backing over 2.5 goals at 21/20.

Another market I am leaning towards is the scorecast where a punt on Lionel Messi first scorer and an Argentina 3-1 win can be backed at 33/1.



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