South Korea
Korea must respond after a poor qualification campaign.

Manager: Hong Myung-bo

World Ranking: 55

How they qualified: Finished second in Group A in Asian qualifying.

Best World Cup finish: Fourth - 2002

Fixtures: Group H – Russia (17 June), Algeria (22 June), Belgium (26 June)

Squad -

Goalkeepers: Jung Sung-ryong, Kim Seung-gyu, Lee Bum-young.

Defenders: Hong Jeong-ho, Hwang Seo-ho, Kim Chang-soo, Kim Young-gwon, Kwak Tae-hwi, Lee Yong, Yun Suk-young, Park Joo-ho.

Park Chu-young

Midfielders: Ha Dae-sung, Han Kook-young, Ji Dong-won, Ki Sung-yueng, Kim Bo-kyung, Lee Chung-yong, Park Jong-woo, Son Heung-min.

Forwards: Kim Shin-wook, Koo Ja-cheol, Lee Keun-ho, Park Chu-young

Expectations: Despite limping to an eighth successive qualification, a group without a South American nation represents an opportunity for Hong's side to progress to the knock-out phase for a third time in the last four World Cups. However, gone is a fluid passing philosophy and in its place is a nervy style which is often too dependent on directness and woefully let down by an inadequate defence. An early win will alleviate the pressure from back home, particularly with Belgium to come in the final game.

Star man: Park Chu-young – Though damaged by a loan spell at Watford and subsequently discarded by Arsenal at the end of the campaign, Park remains the leading attacking threat for the Koreans. A record of 24 goals in 63 caps suggests he can produce when it matters and with him spearheading the attack, the tendency to throw it long will be nullified. With a new club required, this summer represents the shop window for Park and Korea's success will be largely down to his reliability in front of goal. No pressure then.

Prediction: Group stage – Though conditions might suit there are few assurances provided at either end. An early exit.