Sweden pulled off one of the shocks of the qualifying campaign by narrowly overcoming Italy in a play-off to seal their spot in Russia and they come into the World Cup high in confidence and with an excellent team spirit.
Coach Janne Andersson has put together a well-drilled and organised side that does not possess great individual talent but a great team ethic and despite rumours of Zlatan Ibrahimovic being interested in coming out of international retirement, Andersson did not call him up.
They have slight injury concerns over Guidetti and Krafth but neither would have started anyway with the starting 11 likely to be the team which Andersson used at the end of the qualifying phase.
Predicted line-up (4-4-2):
Lustig, Lindelof, Granqvist, Augustinsson
Claessen, Larsson, Ekdal, Forsberg
Korea Republic scraped into the World Cup after a poor qualifying phase which saw them win just four of their ten group matches to get to Russia and that form does not offer much inspiration as they kick off the tournament.
Tottenham's Son Heung-Min is their main attacking threat and there is a huge reliance on him to produce the goods for this team although they will also look to Salzburg forward Hwang Hee-Chan is one of their biggest prospects after settling into Austrian football and he could be a revelation.
No real surprises in terms of what to expect from this Korean team as they will offer plenty of endeavour, but they do lack incisiveness in the attacking third which may ultimately be their downfall although they will not be easy to breakdown defensively.
Predicted line-up (4-2-3-1):
Ko Yo-Han, Jang Hyun-Soo, Kim Young-Gwon, Hong Chul
Ki Sung-Yueng, Koo Ja-Cheol
Lee Seung-Woo, Lee Jae-Sung, Son Heung-Min
In what is arguably the toughest group in the tournament, both Sweden and Korea will be forced to play for the win if they want to cause an upset and reach the knockout phase. Both teams possess the endeavour but lack firepower to penetrate through loaded defences which the Koreans especially will focus on. The marginal edge goes to the Swedes in a low scoring affair as they just have more options to create openings, but it is difficult to see many goals in this one.
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