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Stuart Dalgleish 24th Jun 2010 - 15:16

Pride on the line in Group G finale

It was expected that North Korea (15/2) would be out of contention by the time they played their final game with Ivory Coast (4/11, the draw is 18/5) and that's exactly what has happened.

The 'Chollima' will be disappointed at how they capitulated though in this World Cup after a fairly decent defensive performance against Brazil turned into a horror show against Portugal when they were thumped 7-0.

The coach Kim Jong-Hun to his credit has not blamed his players, merely saying that he got it wrong on the day and that his players weren't set up to cope with Portugal's pace and movement.

I don't think pace and movement will be particularly at the top of Sven Goran Eriksson's game plan, we certainly never saw it for England did we?

The Swede has got his team trying not to lose games more than actually go out and win, and if weren't for Portugal's rout against North Korea it could've worked for him and they might have been able to try qualify, as it is I can't see the nine goal swing that they need taking place and 3rd place is all they will be able to achieve.

Sven's men weren't really helped by Didier Drogba (7/2 first goal, 8/11 anytime) breaking his arm in a pre-tournament friendly, if the Chelsea man would've been available for the whole of the first match then they could've been a real threat in this group.

The Chelsea man has still not fully recovered but he is expected to start in a three-man attack with his club mate Saloman Kalou (6/1 first, 7/4 any) and either Aruna Dindane (11/2 first, 6/4 any) or Gervinho (11/2 first, 6/4 any) either side of him, only the Drog has notched for Ivory Coast in this tournament so the other two starters will be itching to get on the scoresheet against North Korea.

The North Koreans too have only had one player hit the back of the net, Yun-Nam Ji (16/1 first, 6/1 any) against Brazil, but they were never expected to pose too much of an attacking threat in South Africa anyway.

One player that did cause a bit of a stir before the tournament started is Jong Tae Se (10/1 first, 7/2 any); the striker grabbed a couple of goals in a friendly against Greece and we took a large volume of bets on him being North Korea's top scorer at the World Cup, he'd need a couple of goals (14/1 to score 2 or more) for that to happen but you never know, he's worked tirelessly as the loan striker in the last couple of games but would need the wingers to start delivering more crosses in to make an impact on that particular market.

In fact North Korea have only fashioned five shots at the opposition goal in their two matches, long-range shots have been their method of trying to go ahead in games but it's had little effect so far.

The reports coming out of the North Korea camp are suggesting that they'll operate with a more defensive mindset for this game so it doesn't look they'll trouble the Ivory Coast goal.

The Elephants are 5/6 shots to win to nil, it looks like a great bet if you consider that the Korean's are going to sit back and try keep things more respectable this time.



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