South Korea vs. Algeria: Tactical Preview of World Cup Group H Match

Sam TigheFeatured Columnist IVApril 11, 2017

SION, SWITZERLAND - MAY 31: Yacine Brahimi of Algeria controls the ball during the international friendly match between Algeria and Armenia at Estadio Tourbillon on May 31, 2014 in Sion, Switzerland. (Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)
Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images

The first round of group-stage matches is complete at the FIFA World Cup 2014, and now we turn our attention to the second lot.

South Korea and Algeria close the action in Group H.


South Korea

South Korea looked a little bit toothless in their opener against Russia, and the only reason they were able to score is down to Igor Akinfeev's woeful blunder.

Possible South Korea XI.
Possible South Korea XI.@stighefootball

Clear-cut chances were nearly impossible to come by as Park Chu-Young underwhelmed in the striker's role, and the only offensive spark Hong Myung-Bo had at his disposal was Bayer Leverkusen forward Son Heung-Min.

Algeria will play a faster style of football, and it will put South Korea under pressure. From their 4-2-3-1 base they move a little slowly and take their time in possession.

Everything will run through Ki Sung-Yueng in the centre, but watch out for left-back Yun Suk-Young—he's got an engine on him.



Algeria are essentially an unknown quantity at this stage, as while they defended very well against Belgium in the opener, we don't know how good they are with the ball.

They have playmakers and dribblers in Yacine Brahimi, Saphir Taider and Nabil Bentaleb, certainly, but how much can they worry Hong Myung-Bo's side in possession?

Possible Algeria XI. Yacine Brahimi/Riyad Mahrez.
Possible Algeria XI. Yacine Brahimi/Riyad Mahrez.@stighefootball

Vahid Halilhodzic played a deep-set 4-2-3-1 against the Red Devils but could well opt for a more expansive strategy against South Korea, with wingers more heavily involved and a change in striker beckoning.

The Desert Foxes are the only pointless side in the group, so losing is not an option.


2 Tactical Clashes

1. How Many Difference-Makers?

The pattern and flow of this game will be decided by how many offensive roles Halilhodzic uses, with the amount of space in behind directly correlating to the strategy.

Son Heung-Min and Lee Chung-Yong will be looking to find pockets of space in behind marauding attackers, and if the Desert Foxes chance it and go for a win, there will be areas to move in to.

South Korea are still expected to come out with more possession of the ball overall, but "meaningful" possession is a different matter.

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JUNE 17:  Sofiane Feghouli of Algeria shoots against Jan Vertonghen of Belgium during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group H match between Belgium and Algeria at Estadio Mineirao on June 17, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  (Photo
Ian Walton/Getty Images


2. Intensity

One resounding takeaway from South Korea's first tussle with Russia was that they were comfortable when the pace of the game was slow, but once the tempo was upped they began to panic.

Fabio Capello was able to introduce drive and purpose to his side using Alan Dzagoev as an aggressive No. 10, and Halilhodzic can achieve a similar feat with Brahimi.

Bar Kim Young-Gwon, the South Korea defensive setup—particularly in the centre—is nothing to write home about.


Bleacher Report will do a tactical preview and review of every single 2014 FIFA World Cup game. Stay tuned to this link and check it every day for more.