World Cup: Son Heung-min Can Push South Korea Over Sweden

Jun 17, 2018 3:27 PM EDT

South Korea vs. Sweden, 8 a.m. ET Monday, Fox Sports 1

  • Sweden +116
  • South Korea +311
  • Draw +217

Bet to Watch

South Korea +311

One of the ramifications of Mexico’s shocking win over Germany is that it turns the pressure up on Sweden and South Korea. These two sides were hoping for the Germans to defeat Mexico, opening the door for one of them to grab a stranglehold on second place in Group F. Not so fast. This group has now descended into chaos, and I expect Sweden and South Korea to go for the win Monday morning.

Sweden are the more balanced of the two teams, but I think they are a bit overrated. Their best player, Emil Forsberg, is a maverick in the midfield and will shoulder the load for the Swedes. Forsberg, Marcus Berg and Ola Toivonen should provide some trouble for Korea’s mediocre backline.

Even though Sweden have more talent throughout their squad, the best player in this match is South Korea’s Son Heung-min. Son is an offensive dynamo, a trickster with a terrific soccer IQ. He will require a lot of Sweden’s attention. After Son, Ki Sung-yueng is the Asian side’s most important player. He is the engine of the squad and will be relied on to unlock the middle with his passing ability.

For South Korea to succeed in this match, they’ll need their other offensive players to open up space. That makes Lee Jae-sung’s a critical part of this game. He’s been fantastic in the K-League and is a versatile player who can open up space for Son to exploit.

Neither one of these teams will be expected to advance from Group F after Mexico’s win, but if they want to make it to the knockouts, they’ll need three points Monday. That style should suit South Korea more than Sweden, as the Reds have more game-breaking talent up front. At +311, the odds imply South Korea win this match one out of every four times, and I think that’s very low, providing good value for bettors.

Follow Michael J. Leboff on Twitter
@TheBigLeebowski

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