On paper, Spain and Argentina, two of the most experienced nations at FIFA U-17 World Cup level, are clear favourites to take the top two spots in Group C ahead of competition debut boys Honduras and Syria.

That said, the favourites' tag has proved an overwhelming burden for many sides in the past and both La Selección and the Albiceleste will be aware of the dangers posed by opponents desperate to spring a surprise. A lot could depend on whether Honduras and Syria decide to go all out against their more lauded opponents or save their energies for their own vital showdown. Just three points for either could potentially send them through as one of the best third-placed sides.

The teams

The matches (all times are local)
Honduras - Spain, Ulsan, 19 August, 16:00
Argentina - Syria, Ulsan, 19 August, 19:00
Syria - Spain, Ulsan, 22 August, 17:00
Argentina - Honduras, Ulsan, 22 August 20:00
Honduras - Syria, Jeju, 25 August, 16:00
Spain - Argentina, Gwangyang, 25 August, 16:00

How they qualified
Spain: winners of the UEFA U-17 Championship Belgium 2007
Argentina: third place at the South American U-17 Championship Ecuador 2007
Honduras: second in Group A of CONCACAF Qualifying held in Honduras in April 2007
Syria: fourth at the AFC U-17 Championship Singapore 2006

The location
The four competing nations in Group C will be based in Ulsan, where they will play their first two matches. Located in the south-eastern corner of the Korean peninsula, Ulsan is currently the country's major industrial city. With a population of around 1.1 million, Ulsan has a host of automobile factories, shipyards and petrol refineries. All of which have helped turn this former fishing town into the thriving metropolis it is today.

Hosting the group's eagerly anticipated encounters will be the Ulsan Complex Stadium, found in the city centre. Built in 1970 and renovated in 2005, the stadium has a capacity of 19,600. Curiously, the stadium roof is in the shape of a "U", in clear reference to the city's name. Currently calling this ground home are semi-professional outfit Ulsan Hyundai Mipo Dockyard.

The crunch match: Spain - Argentina, Gwangyang, 25 August, 16:00
Most experts agree that the clash in Gwangyang between Spain and Argentina should decide who goes through as group winners. The fans in Korea ought, therefore, to enjoy an open, entertaining encounter, with both sides free to play their respective brands of skilful, attractive football.

All this could change should either side be in need of points to secure a place in the Round of 16. Whatever the case, this particular showdown has all the ingredients of a classic duel between two of world youth football's most powerful nations.

The opening gambit
Bojan Krkic, Spain forward: "At first glance we might appear to have an easy group, but a World Cup is a World Cup and you can't underestimate anybody in football these days. I think that the key will be to focus on our own performances and not concern ourselves much with our opponents."