Group B: Korea DPR seek to upset old guard

A cursory glance of the teams involved in Group B may lead the average football fan to expect Brazil and England to gain the two automatic places in the Round of 16. However, Korea DPR, runners up at the AFC U-17 Championship Singapore 2006 have other ideas. The North Koreans have been working hard in preparation for this tournament and know Jeju well, having spent 12 days there in March - playing against the Korea Republic in a series of friendly games. New Zealand, meanwhile, will be desperate to show that they are not there to make up the numbers.

The teams
New Zealand
Korea DPR

The fixtures (all times are local)
Korea DPR - England, Jeju, 18 August, 14:00
Brazil - New Zealand, Jeju, 18 August, 17:00
New Zealand - England, Jeju, 21 August, 17:00
Brazil - Korea DPR, Jeju, 21 August, 20:00
Korea DPR - New Zealand, Ulsan, 24 August, 17:00
England - Brazil, 24 August, Goyang City, 17:00

How they qualified
New Zealand: winners of the Oceania FIFA U-17 World Cup qualifying tournament Tahiti 2007
Brazil: winners of the South American U-17 Championship Ecuador 2007
England: runners-up of the UEFA U-17 Championship Belgium 2007
Korea DPR: runners-up of the AFC U-17 Championship Singapore 2006

The location
The four teams will be based in Jeju for their opening four matches, the island off the south coast of the Korea Republic peninsula. Famed for being the warmest and wettest place in the country, Jeju has become a popular tourist destination, most notably among honeymooners. However, there will be little chance for New Zealand, Brazil, England and Korea DPR to find rest and relaxation once the tournament begins.

The matches in Jeju will be played at the FIFA World Cup™ Stadium Jeju, one of the venues for Korea/Japan 2002 and the home of Jeju United. It holds over 42,000 spectators and boasts an iconic crater-shaped roof, making it one of the most recognisable stadiums in the world.

The crunch match: Korea DPR - England, Jeju, 18 August, 14:00
Ironically, the group's most important game is the first game of the entire tournament. With many people expecting Brazil to win the group, it seems as though the battle for second place may lie between England and Korea DPR. Whereas England have the international pedigree, the North Koreans are particularly strong at U-17 level, having reached the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Peru 2005.

Physically, John Peacock's England side will have to adjust to the climatic conditions and the time difference in Korea which Kim Mun-Chol's charges take for granted. Mentally, they should not underestimate a Korea DPR side who are more than capable of causing the Three Lions to go home licking their wounds.

The opening gambit
John Peacock, England coach: "To play for your country, you need to be decent in your own right, but what separates the top players from the others is mental strength and the ability to perform consistently."