What: 2010 FIFA World Cup
Who: Brazil vs North Korea (Group G)
When: Tuesday 15th June, 2010, at 19:30 UK Time
Where: Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg

Samba Kings Ready to Party

Brazil, unsurprisingly, arrive in South Africa as one of the tournament favourites. Dunga’s team were in the Rainbow Nation a year ago when they won the Confederations Cup, beating the United States in the final, so they already have experience of the altitude and the vuvuzuelas. This is a more defensive Brazilian team than seasoned football observers are used to seeing, but with the likes of Kaka, Robinho and Luis Fabiano available to Dunga the Canarinho still have the attacking flair to trouble any side. Despite finding themselves in a difficult group Brazil should qualify without too many problems.

Asia’s Unknown Quantity

North Korea’s last appearance at the World Cup finals was in 1966 when they famously beat Italy to earn a berth in the quarter-final. Back then their fairytale adventure was ended by Portugal, ironically their group opponents in 2010. Not much is known about the Asian side. They play a defensive 4-5-1 formation and qualified on the basis of being hard to beat, but with the vast majority of their squad playing inside the secretive communist state it will be difficult for their group rivals to obtain detailed information about them. They find themselves in the ‘Group of Death’ alongside Brazil, Ivory Coast and Portugal but they shouldn’t be underestimated.

Recent form

Republic of Ireland 0-2 Brazil (02/03; Friendly)
Zimbabwe 0-3 Brazil (02/06; Friendly)
Tanzania 1-5 Brazil (07/06; Friendly)

North Korea:
Paraguay 1-0 North Korea (15/05; Friendly)
Greece 2-2 North Korea (25/05; Friendly)
Nigeria 3-1 North Korea (06/06; Friendly)

Players to watch

Brazil – Luis Fabiano: The Sevilla front man will be hoping to emulate the likes of Pele and Ronaldo as he leads the line at the World Cup for the Seleção. Fabiano’s international record for Brazil is impressive with 25 goals in 38 games. Twelve months ago the former Porto striker earned himself the Golden Boot award at the Confederations Cup with five goals, if Brazil progress to the business end of the World Cup then Fabiano should be in contention for another golden boot award.

North Korea – Hong Yong Jo: North Korea’s captain is one of a handful of players that operate outside of North Korea. He currently plays for FC Rostov in the Russian Premier League. Yong Jo is likely to play as a lone striker for the Koreans so it is important that he holds up the ball to allow his team-mates to get forward in support as well as provide North Korea’s main goal threat.

Match prediction

It will be a huge shock if Verde-Amarela cannot beat the Koreans and they should win by at least two goals, although Brazil will require patience as North Korea will defend deep and in numbers. Ideally the South Americans need an early goal to open up the game, if not then it could turn into a frustrating evening for the Samba Kings.

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