South Korea v Belgium preview

South Korea meet Belgium at Sao Paulo’s Arena Corinthians, knowing they must take all three points in order to stand any chance of progressing from Group H.

Hong Myung-bo's side know their chances of reaching the last 16 are slim as their fortunes ultimately depend on the outcome of Algeria against Russia, providing they can win themselves.

Beating Belgium by two clear goals and seeing Russia beat Algeria by a slimmer margin would send them through, a draw in that game would require South Korea to overturn a three-goal swing, while a win for Algeria would signal the end of their campaign.

Hong captained South Korea to the semi-finals of the tournament in 2002, but he knows that the odds are stacked against his side this time around.

"We know that the Korean people want this, desire this. We will do what we can. I don't know if you can call it a miracle but we will have to wait for the result," he said.

"In football the strongest team doesn't always win. So that's what we're preparing for."

Former Arsenal striker Park Chu-Young, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Watford, has come under fire for failing to find the net in his opening two games, but Hong is set to persist with him in attack.

Hong said: "He's important for the overall balance of our team. In the first game I don't think he played that poorly, the second game we didn't create enough chances."

As for Belgium, their place in the knock-out stages is already secure after opening wins against Algeria and Russia, but a point would be enough to claim top spot.

Marc Wilmots will know who awaits his side in the last 16 by the time kick-off comes around and winning the group will see them face the runner-up of Group G, with Germany, USA, Ghana and Portugal all in action four hours earlier.

With his side already through, Wilmots may be tempted into making a number of changes from the team that edged past Russia to win 1-0, and he has already confirmed that Thomas Vermaelen and captain Vincent Kompany will both be rested.

A recurrence of a groin injury meant that Kompany only trained for 35 minutes the day before the game, while Vermaelen limped off with a knee problem in the first half of the Russia win to be replaced by Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen.

Wilmots said: "They're not very serious but we want to keep them fresh. They won't play against South Korea."

19-year-old striker Divock Origi has been heavily linked with a Premier League move after impressing in his two cameo appearances so far - stepping off the bench to score the winner against Russia - and he may get the nod in attack over an out-of-sorts Romelu Lukaku.

Paul Merson's prediction:

Belgium will get better as the tournament goes on. Their players are young and have never played in a big world competition before so the longer they stay in this the harder they will be to play against.

They did just enough against Russia, though, which shows there is more to their game than just flair players and if South Korea defend like they did against Algeria, they will be destroyed.