La Celeste of Uruguay will play against South Korea in the first Group H match of the ongoing World Cup at the Education City Stadium on Thursday at 13:00 GMT.
Uruguay are without veteran coach Oscar Tabarez after 15 years, with Diego Alonso taking over 11 months ago following a poor run of results from the Tabarez-led Sky Blues.
The South Americans were the first country to win the World Cup and are chasing their third trophy since 1950. They have proceeded from the group stage in each of their last three appearances.
Uruguay will have to battle a talent-dominated squad in South Korea in the fixture that has repeated itself in 1990 and 2010.
FORM GUIDE (LAST FIVE MATCHES)
Uruguay have scored a total of 10 goals in the three wins secured from their last five games. South Korea have also lost once against rivals, Japan in their last five games.
27 September 2022 Canada 0–2 Uruguay Friendly
23 September 2022 Iran 1–0 Uruguay Friendly
11 June 2022 Uruguay 5–0 Panama Friendly
5 June 2022 United States 0–0 Uruguay Friendly
2 June 2022 Mexico 0–3 Uruguay Friendly
11 November 2022 South Korea 1–0 Iceland Friendly
27 September 2022 South Korea 1–0 Cameroon Friendly
23 September 2022 South Korea 2–2 Costa Rica Friendly
27 July 2022 Japan 3–0 South Korea EAFF E-1 Football Championship
24 July 2022 South Korea 3–0 Hong Kong EAFF E-1 Football Championship
HEAD TO HEAD
Both sides will be meeting for the ninth time including two at the World Cup in 1990 and 2010. Uruguay has won six of their previous meetings and managed a draw as well as a loss. Their latest World Cup clash was in 2010 Luis Suarez’s brace propelled Uruguay to the quarter-finals.
20 Feb 1982 Korea Republic 2-2 Uruguay Nehru Cup
21 Jun 1990 Korea Republic 0-1 Uruguay FIFA World Cup
13 Feb 2002 Uruguay 2-1 Korea Republic International Friendly
08 Jun 2003 Korea Republic 0-2 Uruguay International Friendly
24 Mar 2007 Korea Republic 0-2 Uruguay International Friendly
26 Jun 2010 Uruguay 2-1 Korea Republic FIFA World Cup
08 Sep 2014 Korea Republic 0-1 Uruguay International Friendly
12 Oct 2018 Korea Republic 2-1 Uruguay International Friendly
Uruguay will rely largely on quality attackers at their disposal. Luis Suarez, Darwin Nunez as well as Edinson Cavani and Maxi Lopez are all available while Valverde and Lucas Torreira occupy the midfield for the Sky Blues.
(4-3-3): Rochet; Varela, Godin, Gimenez, Olivera; Bentancur, Vecino, Valverde; De Arrascaeta, L Suarez, Nunez
Son Heung-Min was the major doubt for South Korea following his fractured eye socket but the Tottenham Hotspur man may be alright to feature in the Tigers’ opener. Wolverhampton attacker Hwang Hee-chan will also provide an attacking option for Paulo Bento.
(4-3-3): Kim Seung-gyu; Kim Moon-hwan, Kim Young-gwon, Kim Min-jae, Kim Jin-su; Jung Woo-Young, Hwang In-beom, Lee Jae-sung; Hwang Hee-chan, Son Heung-min, Hwang Ui-jo