- Brazil v South Korea
- Monday, December 5, 2022, 14:00 ET
- At Stadium 974, Doha
Brazil was not expecting to face South Korea in the Round of 16, but the tournament favorites cannot afford to be complacent against the Group H runners-up
Who do Bettors Favor?
Checking out the best-rated online sportsbooks it is not surprising to see that Brazil is rated as the strong favorite with bettors ahead of this game. Tite’s team is priced at -350, while the draw can be backed at +490 and South Korea is available at anything from +980 to +1175.
|Brazil v South Korea|
World Cup Second-Round Betting Briefing
Brazil can claim to be the most successful World Cup team in history, having won the tournament on five occasions, one more than both Germany and Italy.
The golden era of Brazilian football at the World Cup came between 1958 and 1970, when it won three out of four World Cups, with two different generations of talent, though given continuity by the singular brilliance of Pele, who won his first World Cup as a teenager and his third and last at 29.
There have been other golden generations, however, such is the depth of talent produced by that nation. It was a major shock when the Brazil of Jair, Zizinho and Ademir failed to win in 1950 and there have been at least two more great Brazilian World Cup teams: the 1982 team of Socrates, Zico and Eder and the 2002 squad that included Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Denilson and Kaka.
South Korea has not always had the same attention as other Asian teams, for various reasons, but there is a good case for saying that it is the most successful Asian national team.
In fact, South Korea has been involved in eleven World Cups, making its debut in 1954, but being ever present since the 1986 tournament. In its first five World Cups, South Korea failed to reach the Second Round, but that record was overturned in spectacular style in 2002 when, as co-hosts, it reached the semi-finals, losing 1-0 to Germany, but becoming the first Asian nation ever to get to that stage.
Brazil Looks Dangerous
Brazil last won the World Cup in 2002, and for a nation with such a glittering history, 20 years is a long time to go without claiming that famous trophy. In particular, the 2014 failure, on home soil, was a tough disappointment to take for Brazil fans.
This time around, however, Brazil looks dangerous. The current group of Brazilian players deserves comparison to those great teams of the recent and distant past. In 2018, Brazil was over-reliant on Neymar. This time, Neymar is just one, admittedly senior, member of a glittering offense.
Gabriel Jesus, Vinicius Jr, Raphino, Richarlison, Rodrygo and Antony would all win a place in any international squad. The depth of attacking talent that head coach Tite can call upon is frightening.
And this is no top-heavy squad overreliant on attackers. Brazil has two of the best goalkeepers in world football in Alisson and Ederson, experienced defenders in Thiago Silva and Dani Alves and plenty of depth in defensive midfield, with Casemiro, Fred and Fabinho.
South Korea Fortunate
To reach the Second Round of the World Cup from a Group in which it was regarded as the underdog is a major achievement for South Korea, but its progress owes quite a lot to good fortune.
After a draw with Uruguay and a narrow defeat to Ghana, South Korea could claim to have performed well, if not spectacularly well, and seemed to be on the brink of exiting the tournament.
Yet in its final game, against Portugal, South Korea was able to take on a Portugal team in which many of the star players were rested. While that still left South Korea plenty of work to do, the gap between the top teams and the middle-ranking teams in world football is not so wide that teams like Portugal can play their reserve teams and still hope to win in major tournaments.
All teams need a little luck to progress in the World Cup. For South Korea, however, the task of capitalizing on that luck in the Round of 16 could hardly be tougher.
World Cup Second-Round Match Betting
South Korea’s progression from the Group stage appears to have been overestimated by the bookmakers and that presents us with an opportunity.
Brazil should be even shorter than it already is in the match betting market here and this is an unexpected opportunity to bet on the tournament favorites. It is tempting to bet on Brazil to pile up the goals in this game, but knockout games at the World Cup are usually tense games and there will be little incentive for Brazil to take risks to increase its margin of victory here.