PSG midfielder Lee Kang-in is set to join up with South Korea's squad later this week ©Getty Images

South Korea will be aiming to launch their bid for an unprecedented third successive men's football title as the delayed Asian Games looks set to begin in Hangzhou tomorrow.

The Games are not scheduled to officially open until Saturday (September 23) but the first football matches are due to be take place tomorrow.

It will mark the start of competition at the Games that had originally been scheduled to start 12 months ago only to be postponed because of COVID-19 restrictions in China.

South Korea are set to make their first outing tomorrow when they face Kuwait in their opening Group E match at the Jinhua Stadium.

They will be seeking to become the first country to win three titles in a row following their victories at Incheon 2014 and Jakarta Palembang 2018.

Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min was the star when South Korea were crowned champions five years ago.

This year, South Korea are set to be boosted by the presence of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) midfielder Lee Kang-in.

A release has been agreed by the Korea Football Association and PSG to allow Lee to join up with the team later this week.

South Korea are expected to be without Lee for their opening two matches as they tackle Kuwait before facing Thailand on Thursday (September 21), meaning the midfielder’s first match could be against Bahrain on Sunday (September 24).

Japan lost to South Korea after extra time in the 2018 final and will be determined to go one step further this time around.

The 2010 champions are due to play their first match on Wednesday (September 20) against Qatar, while Palestine have also been drawn in Group D.

North Korea are poised to take on Chinese Taipei at the Zhejiang Normal University East Stadium in Jinhua in Group F tomorrow.

A delegation of nearly 200 North Korea athletes have travelled to Hangzhou as they look set to compete in 18 sports.

It will be North Korea’s first appearance at a major multi-sport event since Jakarta Palembang 2018 after the country was banned by the International Olympic Committee following its decision to skip the Tokyo 2020 Olympics because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

North Korea, who reached the final at Incheon 2014, have been placed in Group F along with Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan and Chinese Taipei.

Hosts China are also due to make their first outing tomorrow with a clash against India at the Huanglong Sports Centre Stadium in Hangzhou.

Bangladesh and Myanmar are the other teams in Group A along with China and India.

North Korea are expected to make their first appearance in the men's football tournament tomorrow ©Getty Images
North Korea are expected to make their first appearance in the men's football tournament tomorrow ©Getty Images

"We have prepared for the Hangzhou Asian Games for six months and are looking forward to this campaign," said China’s manager Dejan Đurđević in a report by Chinese state news agency Xinhua.

"We are ready to play seven games and let the 22 players develop chemistry on the pitch."

A total of 23 teams are taking part in the men’s football tournament, with the top two in each group advancing to the last 16 along with the best four runners-up.

The final is scheduled to be held on October 7.

The women’s football competition is expected to run from September 25 to October 6.

Japan will be gunning for a third title following their triumphs at Guangzhou 2010 and Jakarta Palembang 2018.

They have been drawn against Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh in Group D.

North Korea, who prevailed at Busan 2002, Doha 2006 and Incheon 2014, are in Group C along with only Singapore after Cambodia’s withdrawal.

The five group winners will progress to the last eight as well as the three best runners-up from the four groups including four teams.