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Stuart Dalgleish 11th Jun 2010 - 11:25

South Korea can gain early Group B advantage

Many people will see these two teams as the outsiders for the group let alone to actually win the thing.

With standout team Argentina and Nigeria, the other most likely side to qualify, playing each other later on in the day though it will give one of these two teams the perfect chance to get three points on the board and top the group, at least for a couple of hours anyway.

I just think that South Korea (19/10) can be the team to grab that early initiative, it's hard to put your faith in Greece (8/5), a team that has only ever played three times at the World Cup and lost each one, the draw is 2/1.

Admittedly, South Korea's record at World Cups, apart from when they're on home soil, isn't great either but I think they've got better attacking options than Greece and also players on better form.

The most obvious player from an English perspective is Park Ji-Sung (11/1 first goal, 4/1 anytime); the Manchester United man weighed in with five goals during the qualifiers and also popped up with a few vital goals for his club during the past season, the midfielder has taken over the captain's armband from keeper Lee Woon-Jae and will orchestrate Korea's attacking moves.

Another player on form for the Taegeuk Warriors is Lee Chung-Yong (11/1 first, 4/1 any), the young midfielder has enjoyed a terrific debut season for Bolton Wanderers and won a whole host of awards at his team's end of season awards do, with Celtic's Ki Sung-Yong (14/1 first, 11/2 any) thrown in to the midfield mix too the Greeks know they're in for tough start to this year's competition.

To try combat Korea's talented midfield, Greece are likely to leave just Georgios Samaras (13/2 first, 15/8 any) up top on his own and have the leading European zone scorer from the qualifiers Theofanis Gekas (11/2 first, 6/4 any) as an impact player from the bench, Angelos Charisteas, who famously scored the winning goal in the Euro 2004 final, could operate on the wing, the Nuremberg man is 7/1 for the opener, 2/1 to score at anytime.

Kostas Katsouranis (9/1 first, 10/3 any) could drop back to central defence to cover for Vangelis Moras who has a thigh problem.

Katsouranis was excellent for Panathinaikos as they won the double, weighing in with eight goals, so would be a miss to the midfield if he had to operate as a centre back but of course would certainly improve the backline which is what the Greeks tend to build from in their games.

Otto Rehhagel can do no wrong as the national manager, but if he doesn't attack in this game then I think the Greek's could in for a struggle to try progress to the knockout stage.

I like the look of 1-0 to South Korea at odds of 11/2, and for a scorecast bet why not combine that scoreline with Chu-Young Park (7/1 first, 2/1 any) to grab the opener, available at an attractive looking 35/1.



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