Uruguay open up their participation at the 2022 World Cup with an intriguing battle against Heung-min Son and South Korea on Thursday. The two teams are joined in Group H by Portugal and Ghana, with the Uruguayans viewed as a favorite to advance alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and company. But South Korea are a team to watch two decades on from their semifinal run with the emergence of Napoli center back Min-Jae Kim, who has been a star in his first season in Italy, missing out on the 2018 edition of the cup due to injury.
South Koreans will be anxiously awaiting news of whether captain Son Heung-min is available when they need him most, as the Asian giant starts its World Cup campaign on Thursday against a Uruguay side with a track record of deep runs in the tournament.
The Tottenham Hotspur forward sustained multiple fractures around his left eye three weeks ago and has been training in Qatar wearing a black protective mask reminiscent of swashbuckling vigilante Zorro.
Group H also includes Portugal and Ghana, meaning Son’s unrelenting threat and firepower against an uncertain Uruguayan defence will be vital for South Korea to pick up some crucial early points by negating Uruguay’s attacking flair.
Uruguay will get their group stage campaign started against South Korea on Thursday morning as they kick off the action for Group H. The match is set to get started at 8 a.m. ET and can be seen on FS1 and Telemundo, or via livestream on the Fox Sports app and Peacock. Group H’s other match will follow this one as Portugal and Ghana will face off at 11 a.m. ET.
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Here’s our storylines, how you can watch the match and more:
How to watch and odds
- Date: Thursday, Nov. 24 | Time: 8 a.m. ET
- Location: Education City Stadium — Al Rayyan, Qatar
- TV: FS1 and Telemundo | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
- Odds: Uruguay -127; Draw +235; South Korea +390 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Uruguay: While there are still the old, familiar faces like 36-year-old Diego Godin, 35-year-old Martin Caceres, 35-year-old Luis Suarez and 35-year-old Edinson Cavani, this national team is trending in a new direction. Fede Valverde of Real Madrid is one of the best players in the world, Darwin Nunez is an emerging striker looking to establish himself on the international scene, and young talent like Facundo Torres and Facundo Pellistri are stars in the making. But where to keep an eye on is at central defensive mid, a position Uruguayans take with pride. Sporting Lisbon rising star Manuel Ugarte is expected to man the position with his incredible tackling ability and well-contained aggression. If he can be that cog in the middle to protect an aging defense, this team can go very, very far.
South Korea: All eyes will be on Son’s health after the Tottenham star. He’s on the squad and expected to play, and that’s huge for a player with the weight of the nation on his shoulders. His ability to create chances for himself is why South Korea have a good chance of taking something from this game, especially against an aggressive Uruguay defense. With him, they are knockout stage material. Without him, they likely are group stage and done.