2014 WORLD CUP SOCCER
vs. SOUTH KOREA
Kickoff: Tuesday, 6:00 p.m. EDT
Arena Pantanal – Cuiaba, Brazil
Russia +105, South Korea +230, Tie +225
Over/Under: 2.5 Goals (Over +160, Under -200)
The last of the 16 opening matches of the 2014 World Cup takes place Tuesday in Group H with Russia taking on underdog South Korea.
Here is the BetDSI Sportsbook team preview for Russia:
With both countries perceived to be fighting for the right to follow Belgium through as Group H runners-up, facing one another first is undesirable, as it creates the threat that one error could ruin their entire World Cup before it has truly got going. Usually in such circumstances, both teams play safe, and a dull draw follows that ensures neither last-16 hopeful enters the final two games at a disadvantage, but South Korea may lack the defensive tools to engineer such an outcome. The 2002 semi-finalists managed just two clean sheets from eight attempts in the final phase of Asian qualifying, and though they progressed from their group at the last World Cup, they conceded six goals in the process, including four against Argentina.
Russia – who beat South Korea in a friendly last year – were hugely impressive in qualifying, topping a tricky group that featured Portugal and Israel, the key to that success being a run of four wins to nil at the beginning of the campaign. That ability to start strongly was also apparent at recent international tournaments. In Euro 2012, they opened with a 4-1 victory over eventual group winners Czech Republic, while they got underway with a 2-0 triumph over Tunisia at their last World Cup in 2002.
However, if Russia once again claims an early three points, it doesn’t necessarily spell doom for South Korea, as the Europeans made a first-round exit on each of the aforementioned occasions despite assuming such a promising position. The pick here is to play the +225 money on a TIE and also pay the steep price for the UNDER to occur.