Both sides will fancy their chances to progress because of the favourable draw, which sees Belgium and Algeria as the other sides in the pool.
Russia are led by former England manager Fabio Capello and are the current favourites of the remaining three teams to join top-seed Belgium in the knockout stage.
They come into the tournament in solid form, with their last defeat coming almost a year ago against Northern Ireland in a qualifier.
Hong Myung-Bo's South Korea side, meanwhile, enter the finals in poor form having lost four of their last five international friendlies and failing to score in each of those defeats.
Shirokov's absence could mean more of an emphasis on the wide areas for Russia, with former Chelsea man Yuri Zhirkov potentially key.
These two recently met in a friendly last November, with Russia coming from behind to win 2-1 in Dubai.
South Korea: LLWLLW
Possible starting lineups
Russia: Akinfeev; Eschenko, Ignashevich, Berezutski, Kombarov; Samedov, Denisov, Faizulin, Zhirkov; Dzagoev; Kokorin
South Korea: Sung-Ryong; Yong, Jeong-Ho, Young-Gwon, Sook-Young; Kook-Young, Sung-Yong, Ja-Cheol, Chung-Yong; Heung-Min; Chu-Young
Sports Mole says: 1-1