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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov, 18, 2008

Park expecting tough test against Saudis

South Korea are looking to bring an end to their disappointing form against Saudi Arabia when the two sides meet in their World Cup Qualifier at King Fahad International Stadium on Wednesday.

The visitors have lost three and drawn two of their last five games between the two sides and with both teams part of a four-way tie for top spot in Group Two, a victory would prove a huge boost to either of their qualification hopes.

The Koreans arrived in Riyadh on Monday after a short training camp in Doha which included a 1-1 draw against Qatar last Friday.

Midfielder Park Ji-sung missed the match along with defenders Lee Young-pyo and Oh Beom-seok and striker Park Chu-young due to their European club commitments.

However, all four will be available for the game against Saudi Arabia and Park Ji-sung has warned their opponents Korea will be at their best.

"We know very well that games in the Middle East are always tough," said the Manchester United midfielder. "This time however, we are going to perform better. We have hard work to do in training and need to prepare well.

"Saudi Arabia are a good team. During qualification for the 2006 World Cup we lost here but we are a different team now. So are the Saudis but their basic style is still the same."

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia coach Nasser Al-Johar insists his side will press Korea from the outset as they look to pick up their second win in the group.

The hosts have a number of key players missing with star striker Yasser Al-Qahtani and defenders Hussein Abdulghani and Abdullah Shuhail all out through injury.

Faisal Al-Sultan is doubtful for the game but despite the setbacks Al-Johar is confident he has done sufficient research on their opponents to compensate for the absences.

"We will press them from the start and try to force them onto the defensive instead of threatening us," said the Saudi coach. "I have studied the Koreans very well , not only on paper but also on video and we have enough details on each player in their team.

"I also watched their last match against Qatar but I know that the Korea coach did the same with our squad."

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