Cristiano Ronaldo, Danilo Pereira, and Nuno Mendes will not play in this match due to fitness difficulties. In truth, Mendes is out of the World Cup owing to an injury that will keep him out for several months.
Ruben Dias and Pepe will shield Diogo Costa, while Diogo Dalot and Joao Cancelo will safeguard the flanks. To strengthen the midfield, Joao Palhinha will be joined by Ruben Neves and Bernardo Silva. Palhinha will have a rare opportunity to shine for Portugal in the middle of the park.
Bruno Fernandes and Joao Felix will be up on the flanks, while Goncalo Ramos will start his first World Cup game. Bruno Fernandes has been on a roll at the FIFA World Cup 2022 and will look to make his mark in a third successive game.
Portugal Lineup (4-3-3): Costa; Dalot, Pepe, Dias, Cancelo; Bernardo Silva, Neves, Palhinha; Fernandes, Ramos, Felix
- South Korea and Portugal last met in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, with the Taegeuk Warriors winning 1-0 on home turf in a group-stage encounter. As a result, they won their group and eliminated Portugal from the competition. In reality, Portugal’s sole defeat in five prior FIFA World Cup clashes with Asian opponents came against South Korea in 2002, with the Seleccao winning three and drawing one of the other four games.
- South Korea has won only five of its 23 FIFA World Cup matches against European opponents (D6 L12), with each of those five victories coming against a different country (Poland, Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Germany).
South Korea has lost five of their last seven World Cup games (W1 D1), the same number as they had in their previous 16 matches (W5 D6). They are attempting to win their third group game for the third time in the competition, having done so before in 2002 (against Portugal) and 2018. (vs Germany).
- Portugal has yet to lose a World Cup match in which they have scored the first goal (P18 W15 D3), more than any other nation in World Cup history.
Bruno Fernandes has been involved in four of Portugal’s five goals at this year’s World Cup (two goals, two assists), including a hat trick against Uruguay. Along with Karim Benzema for France in 2014, he is only the second player this century to have multiple goals and assists in a team’s opening two group-stage matches.