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FIFA World Cup Preview: Russia v South Korea

16 June 2014 15:59

South Korea defender Lee Yong insisted his side are equipped for Russia's physicality when they clash in Cuiaba on Tuesday.

Both nations will be making their first appearance of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and will be raring to go in the Group H clash after an extended build-up.

South Korea's preparation for the Brazil showpiece has been far from ideal, losing four of their five friendlies this year.

And a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Ghana last week will have done nothing for their confidence against a resurgent Russia side.

But Lee believes South Korea have prepared well and that they will be able to deal with anything Fabio Capello's team throw at them.

"The Russian team is strong in many respects," Lee said.

"Russian teams are technical and physically stronger than Asian teams but we have been well-prepared.

"The first match is really important. The players and the manager want to fully focus on this game. It's going to be a good match between us."

South Korea's are making their eighth successive appearance at the World Cup, but hopes of a repeat of 2002 - when they charged to the semi-finals on home soil - are highly unlikely given their preparation.

In stark contrast, the showpiece is Russia's first since 2002 and third overall.

They have never made it through the group stage but hopes are high under the tutelage of the legendary Italian coach Capello.

Russia topped their qualifying group - ahead of Portugal, who were forced into a play-off - with seven wins in 10 matches.

An aggressive style has endeared Capello to the locals and they will fancy their chances of getting through a group that also contains Belgium and Algeria.

Despite the absence of captain Roman Shirokov, who was ruled out of the tournament with a knee injury, Russia defender Vasili Berezutski is confident Capello can lead them to the knock-out stages.

"We have things to prove in this World Cup," Berezutski told FIFA.com.

"It's been 12 years since Russia have participated in the World Cup so our objective is to play more than three games, try to qualify from our group and after that we will see.

"Capello demands discipline and it's a good thing because everyone is working hard, giving 100 per cent in every session."

Russia's build-up form has been promising, with three wins from their four 2014 friendlies, in which six different players have scored.

Aleksandr Kerzhakov is expected to lead the line but Russia's varied threats should ensure the South Korea defence is kept busy.

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Info

Competition
World Cup
Date
18 June 2014
Game week
1
Half-time
0 - 0
Full-time
1 - 1
Venue
Arena Pantanal (Cuiabá, Mato Grosso)
Attendance
37603

Goals

0 - 1
68' Keun-Ho Lee
 (assist by Kook-Young Han)
A. Kerzhakov 74'
(assist by A. Eshchenko) 
1 - 1

Lineups

Substitutes

Friday 19 December

Thursday 18 December

23:24
23:18
23:11
22:44
22:01
21:34
20:56
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17:01
16:55
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14:36
14:12
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13:24
13:07
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12:41
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11:12
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10:34
09:55
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05:16
04:47
04:28
04:18
04:05
04:01
03:43
02:38
01:17
00:44
00:21
00:11
00:05

Wednesday 17 December

23:43
23:41
23:37
23:29
23:22
23:15
23:10
23:05
23:05
23:01
22:39
22:37
22:02
21:14
20:05
19:55
18:11
17:38
17:27
17:16
17:04
16:59
16:58
16:33
16:06
16:04
15:49
14:16
13:45
13:43
13:42
13:42
13:42
12:11
11:55
11:37
10:52
07:25
06:11
05:44
04:04
03:49
02:32
02:15
01:18
01:13
00:05
00:04

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