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How Will South Korea Fare at the Asian Cup Finals?

We're going to miss Chungy - but how will he fare against the other competing nations?

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Bolton Wanderers 26 year old Korean star Lee Chung Yong has flown to Australia ahead of the upcoming 2015 Asian Cup competition, to be held in Australia.

The nippy midfielder is the fourth most-capped player in the squad with 64 national team appearances, just behind Swansea City's Ki Sung-yueng on 66 caps, and with both Cha Du-ri of FC Seoul and Lee Keun-ho of El-Jaish who both have 70.

Chungy will be hoping to help the side improve on their 3rd place finish in the 2011 tournament, whilst Korea will be making a record-breaking 13th appearance at the Asian Cup finals.

This landmark longevity aside, however, the Taeguk Warriors' main preoccupation will be a much sought-after hat-trick of titles. The time since their last AFC Asian Cup victory is 54 years and counting, despite finishing as runners-up on three occasions.

In the run-up to the competition, the Koreans recovered from a disappointing and winless World Cup, posting an impressive 3-1 over Venezuela, before losing narrowly to Uruguay. They then beat Paraguay and lost a close game to Costa Rica.

They then travelled away to Jordan for a 1-0 victory but went down to fellow Asian Cup side Iran in their final international game before the tournament proper.

German coach Uli Stielike has been given the task of helping Korea Republic to their first AFC Asian Cup title since 1960. Stielike takes over from Hong Myung-bo who stood down after the side's disappointing World Cup campaign. The former West German international has coached Switzerland, Ivory Coast and German youth sides as well as having club roles in Switzerland, Germany, Spain and Qatar.

Host nation Australia are, unsurprisingly, favourites to win the competition, with Japan, Iran and Chungy's Korea side all expected to challenge.

Australia and South Korea will meet in Group A of the competition, alongside Oman and Kuwait. Japan face Jordan, Iraq and Palestine in Group D and Iran take on United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain in Group C.

Group B, meanwhile, sees Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabi, China and North Korea meet for a spot in the quarter-finals, and a likely match-up against Australia or South Korea.

Japan will head into the competition as reigning champions after defeating Australia 1-0 (after extra-time) in the 2011 final. The Samurai Blues' defeated South Korea 3-0 on penalties in the semi-final after the match finished 2-2 after 120 minutes.

We wish Chungy luck, but also hope that Korea lose every game so he can come back sooner. The worst case scenario is that he stays away until 7th February, which is frankly ridiculous.