World Cup round of 16: Brazil vs. South Korea prediction, preview and team news

After their heroics against Portugal, South Korea now face Brazil and possibly Neymar

Neymar in action against Serbia in Brazil’s first group game
Neymar in action against Serbia in Brazil’s first group game
(Image credit: Stephen Nadler/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

By beating Portugal in their final game of group H, South Korea secured second place and qualified for the round of 16 by edging out Uruguay on goals scored. And the reward for their heroic last-minute triumph against the Portuguese? A round of 16 clash against tournament favourites Brazil.

South Korea will go into Monday night’s game as huge underdogs against the five-time World Cup winners. And their task will be made even more difficult by the news that Brazil’s talisman Neymar is set to return from injury after missing the last two group games with an ankle injury.

When Brazil head coach Tite was asked by the media if Neymar would be fit to play a part, he replied with “yes”, but any decision on whether he starts depends on specific training. “If he’s well, he’ll go out on to the pitch.”

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The winners of this tie will face 2018 runners-up Croatia in the quarter-finals on Friday 9 December at Education City Stadium.

Match facts

  • Who: Brazil vs. South Korea
  • What: Fifa World Cup round of 16
  • When: Monday 5 December 2022
  • Where: Stadium 974, Doha
  • Kick-off time: 7pm (all times GMT)

How to watch on TV in the UK

Monday’s last-16 clash between Brazil and South Korea will be shown live in the UK on ITV and ITVX. TV coverage begins at 6.15pm and the match kicks off at 7pm.

Hwang Hee-Chan’s winner sent South Korea into the last 16

Hwang Hee-Chan’s goal sent South Korea into the last 16
(Image credit: Alex Livesey/Danehouse/Getty Images)

Team news

Brazil boss Tite made nine changes for the final group match against Cameroon. After suffering a 1-0 loss he’s likely to bring back a host of players to the starting XI, including Thiago Silva, Casemiro, Richarlison and Alisson Becker. The big team news for Brazil could be the return of star forward Neymar, who missed the previous two games. This week the Seleção were dealt a double injury blow with striker Gabriel Jesus and defender Alex Telles both ruled out of the rest of the World Cup with right knee injuries.

Hwang hee-Chan scored South Korea’s dramatic winning goal against Portugal and he will hope to have earned a starting spot for the clash against the Brazilians. Defender Kim Min-jae, who has been suffering with a calf issue, was rested for the match against Portugal and should return to the starting XI.

Possible starting XIs

  • Brazil: Alisson; Militao, Marquinhos, Silva, Danilo; Paqueta, Casemiro, Neymar; Raphinha, Richarlison, Vinicius Jr
  • South Korea: Seung-gyu; Moon-hwan, Min-jae, Young-gwon, Jin-su; In-beom, Woo-young; Hee-chan, Kang-in, Heung-min; Gue-sung


South Korea will “give this a good go”, and they showed against Portugal how “well organised they are at the back”, said Chris Sutton on the BBC. But I don’t think they have “got enough at the other end” to bother Brazil. Prediction: Brazil 2 South Korea 0.

Brazil’s loss to Cameroon may have been “a slight shock to the system”, but Tite will now welcome back a “plethora of first-team stars”, said Ben Knapton on SportsMole. He could potentially have Neymar at his disposal from the off, so we still expect the Selecao’s “extensive attacking options” to fire the five-time champions into the last eight and “end the South Korean dream”. Prediction: Brazil 2 South Korea 1.

This is going to be a “smothering performance” from Brazil as they look to keep South Korea off the ball for as much as possible, said Kyle Bonn on Sporting News. Eventually, Brazil “should get through without too much trouble”. Prediction: Brazil 2 South Korea 0.

Although the Brazilians “floundered” against Cameroon, their stars will return to face a South Korea side that “gave their all” to beat Portugal, said Marc Mayo in the London Evening Standard. Prediction: A 2-0 Brazil win.

Brazil are, “as expected, massive favourites” for this round of 16 tie, said Ryan Benson on Opta Analyst. Our supercomputer – “famed for its World Cup predictions” – gives them a “76.2% chance of progressing to the quarter-finals”. South Korea are rated at “just 8.2%” to win at full time in this tie. “But then again, who had them even getting this far before matchday three?”

The stadium

974 Stadium, which is located on the shores of the Gulf, is the first temporary stadium to be used at a World Cup. Made of shipping containers, the 40,000-capacity venue hosted six group games. This round of 16 tie is the final match the stadium will host during the tournament.



  • Head coach: Tite
  • Key player: Neymar
  • One to watch: Vinicius Junior
  • Goalkeepers: Alisson (Liverpool), Ederson (Manchester City), Weverton (Palmeiras)
  • Defenders: Dani Alves (Pumas UNAM), Danilo (Juventus), Alex Sandro (Juventus), Bremer (Juventus), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Thiago Silva (Chelsea)
  • Midfielders: Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle), Casemiro (Manchester United), Everton Ribeiro (Flamengo), Fabinho (Liverpool), Fred (Manchester United), Lucas Paqueta (West Ham)
  • Forwards: Antony (Manchester United), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal), Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Pedro (Flamengo), Raphinha (Barcelona), Richarlison (Tottenham), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid)
  • Injured: Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal), Alex Telles (Sevilla)

South Korea

  • Head coach: Paulo Bento
  • Key player: Son Heung-min
  • One to watch: Jeong Wooyeong
  • Goalkeepers: Kim Seung-gyu (Al Shabab), Jo Hyeon-woo (Ulsan Hyundai), Song Bum-keun (Jeonbuk Motors)
  • Defenders: Kim Min-jae (Napoli), Kim Jin-su (Jeonbuk Motors), Hong Chul (Daegu FC), Kim Moon-hwan (Jeonbuk Motors), Yoon Jong-gyu (FC Seoul), Kim Young-gwon (Ulsan Hyundai), Kim Tae-hwan (Ulsan Hyundai), Kwon Kyung-won (Gamba Osaka), Cho Yu-min (Daejon Citizen)
  • Midfielders: Jung Woo-young (Al Sadd), Na Sang-ho (FC Seoul), Paik Seung-ho (Jeonbuk Motors), Son Jun-ho (Shandong Taishan), Song Min-kyu (Jeonbuk Motors), Kwon Chang-hoon (Gimcheon Sangmu), Lee Jae-sung (Mainz), Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Hwang In-beom (Olympiacos), Jeong Woo-yeong (Freiburg), Lee Kang-in (Real Mallorca)
  • Forwards: Hwang Ui-jo (Olympiacos), Cho Gue-sung (Jeonbuk Motors), Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur)

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Mike Starling is the digital features editor at The Week, where he writes content and edits the Arts & Life and Sport website sections and the Food & Drink and Travel newsletters. He started his career in 2001 in Gloucestershire as a sports reporter and sub-editor and has held various roles as a writer and editor at news, travel and B2B publications. He has spoken at a number of sports business conferences and also worked as a consultant creating sports travel content for tourism boards. International experience includes spells living and working in Dubai, UAE; Brisbane, Australia; and Beirut, Lebanon.