A nation holds its breath after the Taegeuk Warriors received the worst possible news on the eve of the tournament: an injury that threatens the participation of Tottenham’s Son Heung-min. South Korea’s recent form has been promising, with six wins, two draws, and one defeat in their last nine games, although that loss was a chastening 3-0 defeat to Japan. Uruguay has only lost one of its last nine internationals and hasn’t played since a 2-0 win over Canada in September. They have been very sound defensively, with six clean sheets in their last seven matches. Key to that effort, Barcelona’s centre-back Ronald Araújo is the one injury concern for La Celeste.
Uruguay has won six and drawn one of the previous eight meetings between these teams, but South Korea’s only win came in their most recent encounter, four years ago. Uruguay sits 14th in the most recent FIFA rankings, fourteen places ahead of their opponents, a gap reflected in the odds for this game, with Uruguay favourites to pick up three points.