Red-hot Tottenham forward Son Heung-min will lead South Korea at two pre-World Cup friendly matches set for later this month in Europe.
Son was among 23 players named to head coach Shin Tae-yong's squad on Monday. South Korea, ranked 58th in the world, will face 26th-ranked Northern Ireland in Belfast on March 24, and then take on world No. 7 Poland in Chorzow four days later.
These matches will be good litmus tests for South Korea before they face Germany, Mexico and Sweden at the FIFA World Cup in Moscow in June. They will also be the last matches before Shin finalizes his World Cup roster in May.
Son has netted seven goals in his last four games in all competitions, including two against Bournemouth in Premier League action. The Spurs are now unbeaten in their last dozen League contests.
Son's scoring run is surely a welcome sight for Shin, who also named a pair of other in-form forwards, Kim Shin-wook of Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Hwang Hee-chan of Red Bull Salzburg.
Kim scored a hat trick against Tianjin Quanjian in the Asian Football Confederation Champions League match last Tuesday. Of eight defenders, five are from Jeonbuk: Hong Jeong-ho, Kim Min-jae, Kim Jin-su, Choi Chul-soon and Lee Yong. Lee had a fine offensive game against Tianjin last week, making a number of sharp crosses from the right fullback spot.
The midfield corps features Swansea City's Ki Sung-yueng, long time national team captain and playmaking veteran Yeom Ki-hun of Suwon Samsung Bluewings.
South Korea has never faced Northern Ireland before. South Korea's only previous meeting against Poland came in the group stage of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. South Korea prevailed 2-0 for the country's first-ever World Cup victory. (Yonhap)