FIFA World Cup 2022 Preview: Brazil vs. South Korea — December 5, 2022

Lusail, Qatar; Brazil forward Richarlison (9) scores a goal against Serbia during the second half in a group stage match during the 2022 World Cup at Lusail Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

Brazil takes on South Korea in Stadium 974 in Ras Abu Aboud, Doha, Qatar on Monday, with a place in the quarter-finals up for grabs.

Brazil came through the group stages with wins over Serbia and Switzerland, while South Korea’s 91st-minute winner against Portugal sent them through in dramatic fashion over Uruguay on goals scored. The winner of this match will take on the winner of the Japan vs. Croatia Last 16 tie on Friday.

Brazil Key Player: Casemiro

Casemiro has the highest passing grade (93.9) of any player in the tournament, with just nine of his 117 passes to this point receiving a downgrade. He has been key to the early stages of Brazilian attacks, completing 21 of the 23 line-breaking passes he has attempted. He has also had a big impact breaking up play and has a 75.8 challenge grade so far in the tournament, winning four of the seven attempted tackles he has made and successfully defending two of the four dribbles he has faced.   

South Korea Key Player: Heung-min Son

Gue-sung Cho might lead the team with two goals, but South Korea's play flows through Son. He leads the team with 15 line-breaking passes received in the tournament so far, while his three defensive-line-breaking passes received are also the top mark on the team. Once the ball is in possession, Son has looked to create chances for teammates more than take them himself, with his six key passes the most on the team and tied for 15th most at the World Cup. 

Matchup to watch: Can Richarlison be the goalscorer Brazil needs?

Brazil scored three goals at this tournament, and two have come from Richarlison, both in their opening game against Serbia. Those goals have come from his only two shots at the World Cup, and with Gabriel Jesus ruled out for the tournament and uncertainty over how Neymar will feature, it feels like the perfect time for Richarlison to be taking more shots.

Richarlison ranks fifth on the team with 11 line-breaking passes received, but just one of those has broken the defensive line. As Brazil look to navigate a potentially tricky tie, putting Richarlison through on goal feels like a winning strategy.

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