South Korea vs Ghana Prediction
28th November 2022
16:00 Qatar Time/13:00 GMT
Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
World Cup Head-to-Head Record
South Korea vs Ghana Prediction Match Overview
South Korea vs Ghana is the first match in the second round of group H games with everything still to play for. The Koreans come in off the back of an impressive performance which earned them a 0-0 draw with Uruguay. The Ghanaians found themselves 3-1 down against Portugal with ten minutes to go but rallied to produce a spirited fightback which almost yielded an equaliser in injury time, which would have been in no way undeserved.
Neither side will be happy with a point here with Ghana facing Uruguay in their final group game and South Korea up against it against Portugal, so both sides will be pushing for the win to give themselves the best possible chance of emerging from the group.
Injuries and Suspensions
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South Korea vs Ghana Prediction Analysis
Possible Changes from the First Matches
It’s fair to say that the Koreans sorely lacked a cutting edge against Uruguay, with star man Son Heung-min appearing to be a little off the pace as South Korea couldn’t afford to ease the Spurs man into the tournament. Olympiacos striker Hwang Ui-jo failed to make an impact and missed a glorious chance so there’s the possibility that Cho Gue-sung will get the nod instead; Cho did indeed put in a more impressive performance when he came on for the last 20 minutes. Otherwise, we expect South Korea to line up unchanged.
The Ghanaians were defensive and passive in the first half against the Portuguese, perhaps mindful of the damage that conceding an early goal would cause. They were steadily able to grow into the contest and could consider themselves somewhat unfortunate to be 3-1 down. Tariq Lamptey may have a case for inclusion as Alidu Seidu failed to make much of an impact. It’s unlikely that Inaki Williams will be benched despite the striker playing on the periphery for much of the game due to a lack of service.
The Midfield Contest
Ghana will look to play through Mohammed Kudus as often as possible given his impressive showing against the Portuguese, while Thomas Partey should be able to see more of the ball this time out as Ghana won’t be required to be quite as cautious as they were against Portugal early on. In what could turn out to be a must-win game, Ghana will be hoping to involve Inaki Williams and Andre Ayew far earlier and for that to happen they must improve the service to the Bilbao man from midfield. This means they should be looking to play more directly to set the pacey Williams free.
For the Koreans, while they were solid in central midfield they will perhaps be somewhat disappointed that Mainz’s Lee Jae-sung in particular was unable to hurt the Uruguayans by bursting from central midfield with his customary direct game. However, he was able to offer glimpses of his attacking potential and given that the South Koreans had 0 shots on target against Uruguay the Koreans may give him license to push on more often. Hwang In-beom will need to be at his combative best to ensure that the likes of Kudus and Partey aren’t afforded too much time and space.
Keeping the Danger Men Quiet
With so much at stake here, the temptation to push for the breakthrough must be tempered by the realisation that both sides possess potent attacking weapons. Son Heung-min, despite being off the pace at times in the group opener will certainly receive plenty of attention from the likes of Daniel Amartey and the likely incoming Tariq Lamptey. Mohammed Kudus has been in excellent form for Dutch champions Ajax all season long and Portugal struggled to pick him up throughout, therefore we can expect the Korean defence martialled by Kim Min-jae to be on high alert without losing sight of the danger that Inaki Williams poses when provided with the right service. Andre Ayew will no doubt be his usual combative himself in the final third, putting pressure upon the Korean defence at every opportunity, while we expect the impressive Cho Gue-sung to be given an opportunity to start here.
The Ghanaians have a number of potential attacking replacements on the bench should Plan A fail. Starting with attacking midfielder Osman Bukari who came on to great effect in the opening game and proved to be as elusive as the man he replaced, Mohammed Kudus. Though Jordan Ayew was partly responsible for Portugal’s third goal, he’s normally a dangerous option off the bench for the Ghanaians. If Tariq Lamptey doesn’t get the nod ahead of Seidu, we can expect him to be a difficult proposition for the South Koreans due to his electric pace against tiring legs.
South Korea’s Portuguese coach Paulo Bento was sparing in his use of substitutes in their opening game, making use of only 3 of 5 possible changes. Lee Kang-in is perhaps the obvious go-to off the bench as he can play in a variety of positions. Wolves’ Hwang Hee-chan didn’t see action against Uruguay but can provide pace and directness off the bench. If Cho hasn’t done enough in his coach’s eyes to dislodge Hwang Ui-jo, then perhaps he can also be used to good effect.
South Korea Key Players
No surprises here. While Son didn’t appear to be at full sharpness, the Koreans will be hoping that the Spurs man and Premier League joint-top goalscorer of 2021/22 will be at his mercurial best for this one. Though the South Koreans can be proud of earning a point against a more illustrious Uruguayan team, they failed to register a shot on target. Clearly, they will be looking to their attacking talisman for more inspiration this time around.
A rock in central defence, Kim will need to be at his calm, composed best to help track both Kudus and the runs of Williams in particular. If Ghana become overly adventurous, Kim also possesses the ability to play raking through balls to a high degree of accuracy to turn defence into attack in an instant. With the midfield area likely to be keenly contested and contested, this provides the Koreans with the ability to mix up their approach to playing out from the back.
Ghana Key Players
Arguably Ghana’s most impressive performer and for much of the game their only real attacking threat, it’s vital for Ghana’s chances that they manage to get the ball to him in advanced positions. In the first half, Kudus was playing too deep, possibly as part of Ghana’s highly cautious setup but here we can expect his role to be something similar to what transpired in the second half of that game. Kudus excels at playing between the lines and this means that the Koreans can never be too comfortable when out of possession.
Although we’re unsure how Ghana will line up, we believe that Lamptey will be deployed here for a couple of important reasons. Firstly, he was more impressive than Seidu when he came off the bench and secondly, Lamptey’s presence will ensure that Son will be kept somewhat occupied on the defensive end. Ghana are already likely to play with three centre-backs and will need their wingbacks to get forward far more than they did in the first half against Portugal, and Lamptey is the better fit here.
South Korea vs Ghana Prediction
We anticipate that both sides will view this game as their best opportunity to put themselves in contention to qualify for the round of 16, so while this tournament has had its fair share of low-scoring games including South Korea’s 0-0 with Uruguay, we feel this match has the potential to provide greater entertainment value. Picking a winner here is anybody’s guess, so we’ve split the difference with a goal-packed draw.