Competing nations will be looking to follow in the footsteps of 2015 winners Serbia, who are absent from this year's competition ©Getty Images

France and Portugal are among the favourites for success at the 2017 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in South Korea, where action is scheduled to begin tomorrow.

Despite being without some big names including AS Monaco’s Kylian Mbappé, France are considered firm contenders on the strength of their victory at last year’s UEFA European Under-19 Championship.

The 2013 champions, who have young stars such as Paris St Germain forward Jean-Kévin Augustin in their ranks, have been drawn in Group E alongside Honduras, New Zealand and Vietnam.

Two-time tournament winners Portugal have been placed in Group C, along with Costa Rica, Iran and Zambia.

Uruguay are another team likely to be in contention having qualified for the tournament by virtue of winning the South American Youth Football Championship for the first time in 36 years. 

Midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur, 19, is among the nation’s players to look out for as they go up against Italy, Japan and South Africa in Group D.

Hosts South Korea are one of the outsiders for success and have been pitted against Argentina, England and Guinea in Group A.

Other countries that could spring a surprise are the United States, drawn in Group F with Ecuador, Saudi Arabia and Senegal, and Mexico, who face Germany, Vanuatu and Venezeula in Group B. 

Reigning champions Serbia and the country they beat in the 2015 final, Brazil, are both absent from the competition having failed to qualify.

France's Jean-Kevin Augustin, who plays his club football for Paris Saint-Germain, is among the players to look out for ©Getty Images
France's Jean-Kevin Augustin, who plays his club football for Paris Saint-Germain, is among the players to look out for ©Getty Images

Matches are due to be played across six venues, in Cheonan, Daejeon, Incheon, Seogwipo, Jeonju and Suwon.

Opening proceedings tomorrow will be the Group A contests between Argentina and England and South Korea and Guinea and Group B encounters between Venezuela and Germany and Vanuatu and Mexico.

The final is scheduled to take place at the Suwon World Cup Stadium on June 11.

The 21st edition of the competition will be the first youth tournament to make use of the video assistant referee (VAR) system, which was previously trialled at the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup in Japan.

Should there be extra-time and penalties, further new additions will come into play.

If a match is all square after 90 minutes, both sides will get to use a fourth substitution and, if two hours of football cannot separate them, penalties will be taken in a new order.

After the first team has taken their opening kick, both sides will take back-to-back penalties until they have taken five apiece.

Should they be level still, they will continue the order into sudden death.

It is known to some as the "ABBA" sequence.