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South Korea stand in Team GB's way between potential semi-final

Team GB head into their quarter-final against South Korea at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium in good form, having emerged from a tricky looking group unbeaten, with two wins and a draw from their opening three matches in the preliminary round.

A 1-0 win over Uruguay rounded off a solid group stage for Stuart Pearce's side, having also beaten United Arab Emirates 3-1, after their opening draw with Senegal.

South Korea arrive in the last eight, having only conceded once in their three matches, but having only netted twice themselves.

Hong Myung-Bo's side drew their tournament opener 0-0 with Mexico, before beating Switzerland 2-1 and secured qualification in their final match with a goalless draw with Gabon.

If Team GB prevail they will book a semi-final date against either Brazil or Honduras in the semi-finals with the former the hot favourites to progress.

Team decisions

Stuart Pearce must decide whether to reinstate captain Ryan Giggs to the starting line-up, having rested the Manchester United midfielder against Uruguay. It is understood that Scott Sinclair is the most likely to drop out.

Elsewhere, Team GB should have a clean bill of health, meaning Daniel Sturridge will lead the attack in Pearce's preferred 4-3-3 formation, with the side set to remain unchanged from the one that defeated UAE 3-1 at Wembley.

As such, the experienced Welsh duo of Giggs and Craig Bellamy are likely to start in the wide positions, with Giggs tucked in on the right and Bellamy high on the left.

South Korea, who have now reached the quarter finals in the Olympics for the third time - 1948 (London) and 2004 (Athens) -, also have no injury worries.

Arsenal forward Park Chu-Young should lead the sides attack, but Myung-Bo must decide whether to stick with his preferred 4-2-3-1 shape, or to include one of either Sunderland striker Dong-Won Ji or FC Seoul's Hyun-Sung Kim and change to 4-4-2, in an attempt to add more attacking impetus to his side.

Likely line-ups

Great Britain: Butland, Taylor, Richards, Caulker, Bertrand, Allen, Cleverley, Ramsey, Giggs, Sturridge, Bellamy

South Korea: Jung, Yoon, Hwang, C Kim, Y Kim, Ki, Koo, B Kim, J Park, Baek, C Park

Key men

Craig Bellamy

Quite simply, if Craig Bellamy plays well, Team GB stand an excellent chance of victory.

The tireless Welshman has been excellent so far, showcasing his undoubted talent on the world stage.

With blistering pace, Bellamy will ask questions of the Korean backline, and the likes of Cleverley, Giggs and Sturridge will hope to profit from the Liverpool forward's ability to spot the killer ball.

Ki Sung-Yueng

Quietly efficient in the centre of the field, the Celtic midfielder has continued to see his burgeoning reputation blossom at London 2012.

The tall, languid midfield is a good passer of the ball and, when South Korea look to keep possession, he's often the metronome around who their game develops.

The likes of Ramsey and Cleverley will need to be quick to pressure the talented Ki, otherwise he could hurt Team GB from his deep-lying position in the Korean midfield.


Team GB 1-0 South Korea 

A goalfest doesn't look on the cards and the difference between the two sides may simply come from the differing form and confidence of their two strikers; Daniel Sturridge and Park Chu-Young.

Opportunities may be at a premium but, backed by a boisterous Cardiff crowd, Team GB are more than capable of taking their place in the semi-finals.

By Alex Richards – Follow me on Twitter @AA_Richards

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