Brazil hampered by injuries ahead of last-16 South Korea

Reading Time: 2 minutes

World Cup favourites Brazil are racing to overcome injuries to key players as they prepare for their last-16 match against South Korea on Monday, after a heavily changed side lost 1-0 to Cameroon on Friday night.

There are possibilities that Neymar will be available for the match against South Korea as  Brazilian coach Tite confirmed, Neymar suffered an ankle injury in their debut win against Serbia  and they have only one pure full back available after left back Alex Telles suffered a knee injury in the Cameroon game.

Starting full backs Danilo and Alex Sandro are out after injuries suffered earlier in the competition and their availability is still unclear.

Frida against Cameroon, Brazil made nine changes to the team that won 1-0 against Switzerland, leading to Brazil’s first loss to an African nation in its World Cup history.

‘Nothing to fear and nothing to fear’

Wild cards South Korea say they have nothing to fear and nothing to lose when they take on five-times champions Brazil, with their sights set on another giant-killing feat in a World Cup where big names have taken a beating.

After an extraordinary group phase that saw former winners Brazil and Argentina defeated by low-ranked opponents, plus Belgium and Germany eliminated, South Korea see this World Cup as their best chance in decades to make their mark.

South Korea have pedigree, having dumped former champions Germany out of the group stages in the 2018 World Cup. As co-hosts with Japan in 2002, they reached the semi-finals, knocking out Italy and Spain along the way.

Known for lethal counter-attacking and indomitable spirit, South Korea looked to be heading for elimination but delivered a surprise stoppage-time winner in Al Rayyan on Friday to beat Portugal and reach the last 16.

Monday’s match against injury-hit Brazil is their first in the knockout rounds since 2010 and only their third overall.

Kim said there were a few injury concerns among the South Korean squad, but the team were well prepared, capable and confident.