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After scoring a hat trick in the fourth round of the English Premier League (EPL) against Burnley on March 3 (KST), Son Heung-min (31-Tottenham) took a train the next day to join the national team. Cardiff, Wales, is the venue for the first match of the month. The national team (28th in the FIFA rankings), led by Jürgen Klinsmann (59-Germany), will face Wales (35th) at 3:45 a.m. on Aug. 8 at Cardiff City Stadium. TV Chosun will broadcast the match live.
Joining Son on the train was Tottenham teammate Ben Davies (30). Wales, who reached the Euro 2016 quarterfinals with Gareth Bale (34-retired) at the helm, have not been as dominant as they once were as their “golden generation” retires or ages, but they will be fielding an elite squad against South Korea that includes Davies, Aaron Ramsey (33-Cardiff City) and Joe Rodon (26-Leeds).
Klinsmann has been on a roll lately with the Europeans in good form. Son Heung-min and Hwang Hee-chan (26-Wolverhampton) are likely to start on the flanks against Wales. Hwang, who injured his thigh against Everton on Sept. 26, scored the equalizer in his EPL return against Crystal Palace on Sept. 3.
It will be interesting to see who starts up front. Cho Kyu-sung (25), who has four goals and one assist for Danish side Midtjylland this season, is the favorite to start. Hwang Eui-jo (31), who recently joined Norwich City on loan from the English 먹튀검증 Championship, and Oh Hyun-gyu (22-Celtic), who made his comeback against Rangers on March 3, are also in contention. Son Heung-min, who has been playing up front for Tottenham lately, could also start.
In defense, Kim Min-jae (27-Bayern Munich) is back. After being sidelined with an injury in the A-League in June, Kim has made a name for himself as a ‘world-class’ defender in his new home in Germany.
The Wales game is crucial for Klinsmann, who has struggled since taking over with just two draws and two losses. He has been embroiled in a controversial ‘work-from-home’ controversy, skipping a press conference to announce his A-match roster, and a poor performance against Wales will only increase fan criticism of Klinsmann.