All you need to know: Uruguay v Korea Republic
Check out everything you need to know about Uruguay v Korea Republic in the FIFA World Cup 2022.
Uruguay vs South Korea: Line-ups
Uruguay are Favourites
The sacking of Tabarez as Uruguay boss following 15 years in the job has thrown their preparation into disarray, despite the positive results they are getting on the pitch. Alonso has come in and completely transformed a side which was on the floor following some woeful results in South American qualifying, but he still does not know his best starting XI or best system.
Tabarez was dismissed as manager with qualification in serious doubt after four successive defeats, including a humiliating 4-1 loss in Brazil and a 3-0 defeat away in the notoriously difficult altitude of Bolivia. However, with four qualifiers left after the New Year, Alonso came in and won all four, with impressive away wins to Chile and Paraguay being the highlights, and Luis Suarez still at the centre of everything good in the national side.
Uruguay is still undecided on which formation best suits them though, as 4-4-2 and a 4-3-2-1 have both been used often, but are ultimately untested against strong opposition. The finer details will not matter as long as they keep up this level of performance in attack and defence though, as they have conceded just twice in his nine games in charge.
South Korea, meanwhile, come into the tournament with an under-fire manager and a squad which has underwhelmed in the build up to Qatar. In addition to this, the worst possible turn of events struck the side on the eve of the tournament, with Son Heung-min going off injured in the Champions League, requiring surgery on a fractured eye socket.
If manager Paulo Bento opts to risk him from the start, there is also the chance he will not be 100% having had such a disruptive preparation to the tournament. With their attacking star a doubt, that will put more pressure on their solid defence, but after conceding just three goals in their 10 AFC final stage qualifiers, they have proved they can be relied upon.
Uruguay have been near faultless under Alonso since his appointment a year ago, and with their elite forwards and a solid defence, they should be big favourites here. The situation surrounding the fitness of Son has dominated South Korea’s preparation, and with him not in top form, there are doubts about what their Plan B is.