Bolstered by their surprise opening draw with defending champions Argentina, the Czech Republic kick off the second round of Group E games by taking on Korea DPR in Ottawa, where fans are still waiting to see their first goals of the competition. In what is sure to be a genuine clash of styles, the eastern Europeans will be banking on another tactical master-class, while the AFC champions will be hoping their high-tempo and penetrative football proves too much for their opponents to handle.
Although Miroslav Soukup's side were understandably thrilled with their goalless draw against Argentina, the coach is promising a more attack-minded approach for a game that will be vital to both sides' chances of progressing. For his part, Korea DPR coach Jo Tong-Sop has been working hard with his charges to help them deal with the tactical discipline and physical strength of a Czech side that is the tallest on average in the tournament.
With no suspensions or injury worries in either camp, both countries are expected to name full-strength sides for the clash in Ottawa.
This being Korea DPR's debut in the competition, the teams have never met in this category. However, the Europeans have a little bit of history on their side, with the former Czechoslovakia having won both their previous matches against Asian opposition at the tournament: 3-2 against China PR in 1983 and 1-0 against Saudi Arabia in 1989.
"The draw against Argentina has given us some real impetus going into the Korea game, although that in itself is no guarantee of a good result. What is certain, though, is that we'll be less cautious than we were in our previous game." Miroslav Soukup, Czech Republic coach.
"After making our World Cup debut in this category, we've grown in confidence both individually and collectively. I'm sure we'll play better [in our second game] than we did last Sunday. We're very optimistic that we can get past this phase and advance in the competition." Jo Tong-Sop, Korea DPR coach.