Something strange happened at this year’s World Cup – and that was the fact Holland were not there. They were horrendous during qualifying whilst their South American opponents managed to make it to Russia, although their poor finishing cost them dear and they failed to make it out of the group.
However, since losing to England in a friendly, the Netherlands destroyed the European champions Portugal 3-0 and drew with Italy, both away from home.
With van Dijk in the heart of the defence and Memphis Depay, Justin Kluivert and Ryan Babel as attacking options, it appears the Dutch have become a stronger unit. A home win and restoring some pride looks a good option in this one.
South Korea will have been elated with their triumph over Germany at the World Cup in the summer. However, that result wasn’t good enough to see them qualify out of the group stages which was a major disappointment for the nation.
Son will not be part of the side who faces Costa Rica on Friday, after recently competing in the Asian Games, where he gained exemption from two year military service by winning the tournament last week.
Without Son, South Korea simply do not tick. Costa Rica are a stern side and they proved that over the summer. Brazil had to rely on injury time goals to defeat them, whilst Serbia relied on a wonder free-kick from Kolarov. By no means will this be a classic and even a 0-0 could be the end result. Under 2.5 looks good in what should be a fairly boring affair.
Belgium come into this game having finished third at the World Cup and this is another opportunity for their golden generation to showcase their talent once again. By no means will it send out a message to the European sides, but they’ll be after a positive result in Scotland.
Martinez’s side has an abundance of talent, far superior to those of the Scottish. There’s no doubt the Scottish fans will try and make it hostile and intimidating for the Belgian side but an early goal, or two, will soon keep them quiet. A two goal win looks a great bet in this, but the Asian handicap will offer protection in what is still a friendly match.