International Friendly: South Korea v Tunisia

Hong Myung-bo will put his youthful South Korea squad to the test on home soil before the FIFA World Cup against Tunisia on Wednesday.

Al Hilal centre-back Kwak Tae-hwi, 32, is the only player over the age of 30 in the 23-man South Korea party that will travel to Brazil.

While Hong's decision to omit several experienced players, including former Bayer Leverkusen and Celtic full-back Cha Du-ri, may be considered a risk, the coach insisted he was happy with the make-up of his squad when unveiling his selection earlier this month.

Wednesday's fixture at the Seoul World Cup Stadium may provide an indication of whether Hong's decisions will be vindicated.

Korea's recent form can best be described as mixed, with the team having claimed five wins and five losses in their last 10 fixtures.

Their latest outing brought an encouraging 2-0 triumph over Greece and Hong will be keen for his side to gain further momentum from friendlies with Tunisia and Ghana, ahead of a Group H opener with Russia on June 17.

Among those looking to stake their claim for a spot in the starting XI is striker Park Chu-young, whose contract at Arsenal is set to expire. He did his chances no harm by scoring the opening goal against Greece in March.

Park has a solid return on the international stage with 24 goals in 62 matches and, as one of just five survivors of the squad that reached the round of 16 in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the 28-year-old is one of the senior members of the team.

The likes of Ji Dong-won, a player who will represent Borussia Dortmund from next season, Ki Sung-yueng and Lee Chung-yong will also be keen to impress.

For Tunisia, the encounter marks the start of the reign of former Belgium and Algeria coach Georges Leekens, who was named head coach in March.

The 65-year-old - who led Belgium to the 1998 World Cup - took over on a permanent basis from Ruud Krol, the coach that oversaw a World Cup qualifying play-off loss to Cameroon last year.

Krol's predecessor Nabil Maaloul resigned after Tunisia had lost their last qualifying fixture to Cape Verde in September, seemingly ending their World Cup hopes.

However, Cape Verde were punished for fielding an ineligible player in that fixture and FIFA subsequently handed Tunisia a 3-0 victory.

The north African nation were still unable to qualify for the World Cup and Leekens will now run the rule over his squad as he prepares to oversee a qualifying campaign for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.


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