South Korea vs Singapore
South Korea will be looking to get their 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign off to a winning start when they meet Singapore at the Seoul World Cup Stadium.
South Korea’s decision to appoint Jurgen Klinsmann as their new chief of staff after parting with long-serving manager Paulo Bento in the wake of a humiliating 2022 World Cup exit to Brazil has prompted plenty of controversy. The German’s disastrous five-game winless start to life as the national team coach (D3, L2) has fueled skepticism within the home folk, but everything seems to be falling nicely for the ex-Bayern Munich boss. His men have timed their return to form to perfection, winning three consecutive internationals in the build-up to this qualifying cycle by an aggregate score of 11-0. A 6-0 thrashing of Vietnam last time out has reignited enthusiasm with the ‘Taegeuk Warriors’ camp, renewing their hopes of qualifying for an 11th straight World Cup.
Reaching the most prestigious international tournament has long been wishful thinking for Singapore, but after winning three consecutive games, they ought to start this qualifying campaign on a confident note. A brace of single-goal margin wins over Guam in the qualifying playoffs helped the ‘Lions’ advance to the second round under the current form for a fourth time in a row. Whether they can make it count this time around remains to be seen, though they can draw inspiration for a 2-0 win over South Korea in their only meeting in the 21st century. That friendly success in 2010 looks like a lifetime ago. But they’ll believe in a miracle after claiming three wins on their last five international travels (D1, L1).