La Celeste take on the Asian giants in their opening game as Luis Suarez and Darwin Nunez will be tasked with breaking down the Taegeuk Warriors' defense.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup action continues on Thursday, with two South American nations taking to the field on the same day. Uruguay are one of those two countries, with the two-time champions taking on South Korea at 8 a.m. ET in what should be an interesting Group H battle.

This will be the first tournament since Korea Japan 2002 that La Celeste are without Oscar Tabarez. After a 15-year reign, the South American heavyweight decided to part ways with the iconic manager a year ago.

The 75-year-old oversaw the 2010, 2014, and 2018 editions but Uruguay's horrible start to the 2022 qualifying round meant a change in direction was needed. Suarez and Co. suffered three consecutive defeats midway through the campaign and were in grave danger of failing to qualify, hence the decision.

However, the appointment of Diego Alonso changed things drastically. Nonetheless, this does not mean all is perfect. Uruguay are yet to find a settled formation, with the new boss shifting between a two-man attack and a 4-3-2-1 system. 

But with Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani, Darwin Nunez, and Maxi Gomez all being quality options up front, it's easy to understand why Alonso tinkers with his formation. Additionally, La Celeste enter the tournament on the back of spectacular form, with the South Americans winning all but two of their last nine outings.

Portugal and Ghana are the two other teams in this group, and with Alonso stating that his side are aiming to go far in Qatar, victory on the opening day will be crucial for Copa America's joint-most successful nation.

South Korea, meanwhile, will be aiming for an unexpected result, one reminiscent of their 2-0 victory over Germany in Russia. In fact, two shocking results have already happened in this edition, with Saudi Arabia beating Argentina 2-1 and fellow Asian giants Japan overcoming the aforementioned European heavyweights by an identical scoreline.

Unfortunately, there have been a few hiccups for the Taegeuk Warriors recently, the biggest being the injury to Son Heung-min. The Premier League star picked up a nasty knock to the face during Tottenham's UEFA Champions League trip to Marseille, leaving fans fretting over his availability for Qatar 2022.

The Spurs ace was later diagnosed with a fractured eye socket and underwent surgery before eventually being named in his nation's final FIFA World Cup squad. However, with the player sporting a mask and having just begun heading the ball on Monday, doubts linger.

Outside of Son, South Korea do not have several lethal goalscorers to call upon. Wolves attacker Hwang Hee-chan is yet to score this season in 11 Premier League appearances while Hwang Ui-jo's only goal contribution for Olympiakos this term is a lone assist.

However, Paulo Bento has one deadly weapon up his sleeve and that is the Reds' rock-solid defense. The Asian giants conceded only three goals in 10 matches during the third-round qualifiers. This isn't surprising given that Kim Min-jae, the brilliant Napoli center-back, has been at the heart of South Korea's defense, meaning the likes of Suarez, Nunez, and Cavani should be in for a tough test.

Team news

Uruguay: Despite initially being ruled out for this tournament, Ronald Araujo has made the squad. Nonetheless, the Barcelona defender is unlikely to start this early in the competition. It will be interesting to see who the manager opts for in goal, with Sergio Rochet recently usurping Fernando Muslera as the no.1 keeper. Luis Suarez will lead the line, meaning Darwin Nunez could start out wide while Cavani gets benched.

South Korea: Son Heung-min is ready to take a risk and start Thursday's opener but it remains unknown what Bento will decide. Kim Min-jae will start in defense while Real Mallorca's Lee Kang-in will be hoping for more minutes on the pitch.

Key stats

  • This will be the ninth encounter between these two nations.

  • To no one's surprise, Uruguay dominate the head-to-head record, winning six of their previous eight encounters with South Korea.

  • The Asian giants have won only once in their last six FIFA World Cup games.

  • La Celeste, meanwhile, have won four out of their last five matches in this prestigious competition.

  • The South American heavyweights have conceded in only one of their last seven outings.

Broadcast listings


Match details, result and original broadcast info

Uruguay 0 - 0 Korea Republic

November 24, 2022 8:00amEducation City Stadium (Al Rayyan (Ar-Rayyan))

This match has ended. Below are the original Live broadcast details for this match.

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