Belgium, who have already qualified to the round of 16, close out their Group H accounts on Thursday in a matchup against Korea, who are almost surely going home. The Belgians will look to get all three points from this match in order to win the group and avoid a likely encounter with Germany in the next round. Korea, who sit in last place with a solitary point, will look to regain some lost pride following poor performances against Russia and Algeria, who meet each other in what is likely to be the match that decides the runner-up from this group. 

Eden Hazard will look to wreak havoc on an already suspect Korean defense, which allowed four goals to empowered Algeria in their last match. Although the Chelsea striker has yet to score in the cup, his link up play with Napoli winger Dries Mertens has been of the highest quality and has helped Belgium create chances. The Belgians will fancy their chances against a Korea side that came into the tournament having lost four of its five previous games. Striker Romelu Lukaku may have to watch this one from the bench as his performances have been lacking, and coach Marc Wilmots will bench players Axel Witsel and Toby Alderweireld as they are both carrying yellow cards. 

Korea will need to carry over their second half performance against Algeria if they are to see anything out of this tough encounter. The Koreans went into the break down 3-0, dejected, and deflated but bounced back in the second period and scored two deserved goals. The difference maker for the Koreans will likely be Son Heung-min, who was quite lively in the game against Algeria and showed his attacking abilities by scoring an early second half goal that, for a a short while, brought the Koreans back into the game. However, facing the strongest side in the group, the Koreans will likely see little of the ball and will need to defend stoutly, something they have proven unable to do, giving up five goals in two matches. The biggest problems for Korea are in defense, with an overall lack of pace and general disorganization that will need to be adjusted if they wish to stymie the young Belgian strike force. 

All in all this match should be dominated by the Belgians who should take all three points. But if this World Cup has taught us anything it is to not take anything for granted, and if the Koreans come out strong, they could threaten Belgium's defense. That said, expect the quality of Hazard, and Mertens to be able to crack the shaky Korean defense, and come out of this match on top. 

 

Prediction: 3-1 Belgium

Betting Odds (Courtesy of Bovada.lv)

Korea: +½ (+120) // Moneyline (+400)
Belgium: -½(-145) Moneyline (-145)
Draw: +280