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Sweden vs. South Korea: Team News, Live Stream, TV Info for World Cup 2018

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IJune 17, 2018

DAEGU, South Korea - MAY 28:  Son Heong-Min of South Korea celebrates after the international friendly match between South Korea and Honduras at Daegu World Cup Stadium on May 28, 2018 in Daegu, South Korea.  (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Sweden and South Korea kick off their 2018 FIFA World Cup campaigns on Monday at Russia's Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.

The match will be the second in Group F, as Mexico and Germany open proceedings on Sunday at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

          

Date: Monday, June 18

Time: 3 p.m. local time/1 p.m. (BST)/8 a.m. (ET)

TV Info: ITV1 (UK), Fox Sports 1 (U.S.)

Live Stream: ITV Hub  (UK), Fox Soccer Match Pass (U.S.)

          

Sweden and South Korea Face Battle to Qualify

GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN - JUNE 09: The team from Sweden sings their national anthem ahead of the international friendly match between Sweden v Peru at the Ullevi Stadium on June 9, 2018 in Gothenburg, Sweden. (Photo by Daniel Malmberg/Getty Images)
Daniel Malmberg/Getty Images

Defending champions Germany are the big favourites to win Group F, while Mexico are also expected to progress after a strong qualifying campaign.

It will be something of a surprise if either Sweden or South Korea make it to the knockout stages, but a win in their opening game would provide a big boost.

Sweden made it to the World Cup the hard way after finishing second in a tough group that also contained France and the Netherlands. They were handed a play-off tie against Italy and upset the Azzurri with a 1-0 aggregate win.

There will be no Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the Sweden team at a tournament for the first time since Euro 2000. The charismatic striker, who had hinted he might come out of international retirement, was left out of the squad.

RB Leipzig midfielder Emil Forsberg is their star man and a real threat from set pieces. Tifo Football showed what to expect from him:

Tifo Football @TifoFootball_

Emil Forsberg is an excellent player, creative, able to pick and weight passes, change the angle of attack, & work well with quick front men to spring opposition defences. We examine the potential impact of #Sweden's Forsberg at the #WorldCup: https://t.co/vEkFCmu1Aq https://t.co/7zYwTQQ9Qb

In defence, Manchester United centre-back Victor Lindelof will hope to remind the world what he is capable of after a tough first season at Old Trafford.

The 23-year-old made just 13 Premier League starts under Jose Mourinho and is behind Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones in the pecking order.

South Korea also head to Russia with few expectations and have a poor record at World Cup finals beyond their fourth-placed finish as co-hosts in 2002.

The team did not win a single game at the 2014 World Cup and may repeat that record in what looks a tough group.

They will turn to Tottenham Hotspur's Heung-Min Son for inspiration after he managed 18 goals and six assists during a superb season for Mauricio Pochettino's men.

Starlet Lee Seung-woo will also be hoping to make an impression on the world stage. The 20-year-old grew up with Barcelona, joining the club at 12, but he moved to Verona in 2017 in search of regular football.

FootballTalentScout showed what to expect from the youngster:

FootballTalentScout @FTalentScout

🇰🇷S. Korea - Lee Seung-woo La Masia youth product has had a troubles season with Hellas, but his quality for the national team is obvious. Another playmaker, very weak but he makes up for it with his agility and dribbling, can be frustrating with his end ball sometimes though.

The two players could feature together in attack against Sweden and have the potential to cause problems with their pace, penetration and finishing ability.