Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal vs. South Korea: World Cup Storylines, Odds, Live Stream
Portugal will attempt to become the first team at the 2022 FIFA World Cup to take the full nine points from group play on Friday.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. beat Ghana and Uruguay to open up Group H and secure a spot in the knockout round, and they can seal a 100 percent record with victory over South Korea.
South Korea comes into Friday's match in need of a win and some help in the other Group H game between Ghana and Uruguay.
The Asian side currently sits in third place in Group H with one point from a scoreless draw with Uruguay. It lost 3-2 to Ghana in its second game in Qatar.
South Korea needs a win over Portugal to have a chance of reaching the round of 16. It needs to win by two goals and have Ghana and Uruguay play to a draw, or for the South Americans to win and it will advance on a better goal differential.
South Korea leads Uruguay by one in goal differential going into Friday.
Odds and Match Info
Portugal (-130; bet $130 to win $100)
South Korea (+320; bet $100 to win $320)
Over 2.5 Goals (-120); Under 2.5 Goals (+100)
Date: Friday, 2 December
Start Time: 10 a.m. ET
Live Stream: FoxSports.com and Fox Sports app
Bruno Fernandes Looking to Continue Strong World Cup
Portugal's current Manchester United star has played better through two Group H matches than its former one.
Bruno Fernandes scored a brace in the win over Uruguay and is one of seven players at the World Cup with multiple assists.
The 28-year-old is the only player so far with multiple goals and assists in Qatar, which should put him in contention for the Golden Ball, the award for the most valuable player in the tournament.
The former Sporting CP man has long been the driving force of the Portuguese attack, but he has gained more attention for his play in Qatar because of his robust stat sheet.
Fernandes and his former Old Trafford teammate, Cristiano Ronaldo, should be active in the final third against South Korea.
Portugal may make one or two changes, but it can't afford a loss because of what looms for the second-place team in Group H in the round of 16.
Brazil will most likely win Group G and be paired with the runner-up in Group H. Portugal would much rather face Switzerland or Serbia than put its World Cup hopes on the line against the Seleção.
Fernandes is one of the names who can ensure Portugal does not fall to that fate.
A draw would be good enough to clinch top spot as well, but the Euro 2016 champions should be aiming for a win and the chance to be the only team with nine group points.
Brazil is the only other team that could reach that total. It plays against Cameroon later on Friday.
South Korea Must Play with Determination from Start
A result against Portugal does not guarantee South Korea's spot in the round of 16.
The Asian side must win in emphatic fashion and then hope the Ghana-Uruguay result goes its way.
South Korea needs to control what it can inside the Education City Stadium first before it can begin to look at the scoreboard from the other Group H game.
The team ranks in the bottom third of World Cup sides in expected goals at 2.4. The good news is that its expected goals against is 2.2, despite conceding three times to Ghana in the last group game.
There is the potential to limit Portugal's chances in the first half and go for the result either right away, or after a scoreless opening 45 minutes.
South Korea will not have manager and ex-Portugal international Paulo Bento in the dugout after he was handed a red card late in the Ghana match. Communication from the touchline may be a bit more chaotic than usual because of that.
The Korean attack needs to rely on Heung-min Son to drive through the Portuguese defense, but he may not be the scorer of any goals.
Gue-sung Cho struck twice in the match with Ghana, and he may be the better target man because so much attention will be paid to the Tottenham Hotspur player.
No matter who creates the chances, South Korea needs to be on the front foot at some point to make up the goal differential on either Ghana or Uruguay so that a surprising win over Portugal gets it through on the tiebreaker over the other two sides in Group H.
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