Northern Ireland v South Korea Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
March 20, 2018
Windsor Park - International Friendly
Northern Ireland will look to put the disappointment of missing out on the World Cup behind them when they host South Korea at Windsor Park on Saturday. The visitors meanwhile are stepping up their preparations for the summer showpiece in Russia.
This will be the first time these two countries have met in an international fixture, so new ground will be broken whatever the outcome at the weekend.
Michael O’Neill has called up two uncapped players for this game. Norwich City’s Jamal Lewis makes the squad after scoring against Chelsea in the FA Cup n January, while there are high hopes for goalkeeper Conor Hazard. Elsewhere, Jonny Evans has joined up with the rest of the players despite an illness.
Swansea City’s Ki Sung-yueng is set to win his 98th cap for his country, although Tottenham forward Son Heung-min is the star turn in the Korean squad. He has 18 goals so far this season for Spurs, and will have plenty of eyes on him in this game.
Northern Ireland v South Korea Preview and Predictions
Northern Ireland have moved up to 24th in the FIFA rankings, despite their failure to qualify for the World Cup. South Korea are a lowly 59th, but there’s no doubt Saturday’s hosts would swap their ranking for a spot in Russia.
The narrow defeat in the play-offs against Switzerland was a bitter pill for the Green and White Army to swallow, especially after a superb qualifying campaign that saw them finish second to Germany in a group that also contained the Czech Republic and Norway. The rebuilding job starts now, although there’s still plenty of experience in the Irish squad.
This helps Northern Ireland to start as the 7/5 favourites for this game, while Korea are priced at 11/5. The visitors are preparing for a World Cup campaign that pits them against reigning champions Germany, as well as Mexico and Sweden.
It’s going to be a tough ask in Russia, but with a fit and firing Son Heung-min the Reds will certainly pose a threat. If you think that’ll be enough for them to claim a draw in this game, the odds on that are 9/4.
South Korea to win 1-0 at 7/1
Northern Ireland have lost two of their last three games 1-0, while Korea have won two of their last three by the same scoreline.
Under 1.5 goals at 15/8
This looks like a solid bet considering the lack of goals in the two teams’ recent fixtures, with Ireland’s other game ending goalless.