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World Cup 2018: Germany vs South Korea - preview, team news, predicted XI, head to head and key stats

Varun Nair
ANALYST
Feature
1.55K   //    27 Jun 2018, 12:20 IST

Germany v Sweden: Group F - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Germany will be looking for another inspired performance from their midfielder

The last round of matches in Group F will see defending champions Germany take on South Korea, knowing a victory with a goal margin greater than one will see them qualifying for the knockout stages of this year's World Cup tournament.

The defending champions saw their campaign start off in the worst way possible, suffering a shock 1-0 defeat against Mexico courtesy of Hirving Lozano's first-half effort. The second group fixture saw them take on giant-killers Sweden, who knocked out Italy and the Netherlands during the qualifying rounds.

In an early contender for match of the tournament, the four-time champions overcame a 1-0 first-half deficit to win 2-1 after goals from Marco Reus and Toni Kroos' injury-time strike. The South Koreans have failed to turn up thus far this tournament, but a victory with a goal margin higher than two - as well as Sweden beating Mexico will see the Asians surprise many by making it into the knockout stages.

Team news

South Korean coach Shin Tae-Yong will be without the services of their captain Ki Sung-Yeung after the midfielder picked up a calf strain.

Korea Republic v Mexico: Group F - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Ki (right) in action during South Korea's 2-1 defeat by Mexico last week

Germany meanwhile, will be without first-choice centre-back Jerome Boateng - who picked up a suspension after receiving a red card during their win over Sweden. His partner Mats Hummels, is expected to be fit to start after recovering from a minor neck injury.

TOPSHOT-FBL-WC-2018-MATCH27-GER-SWE
Will Boateng's absence turn out to be crucial for the German backline?

Coach Joachim Low is also expected to be without midfielder Sebastian Rudy, who had a minor operation after breaking his nose during the same game.

Possible line-ups

Germany XI (4-2-2-2): Manuel Neuer; Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Sule, Mats Hummels, Jonas Hector; Ilkay Gundogan, Toni Kroos; Thomas Muller, Marco Reus; Timo Werner; Mario Gomez.

South Korea (4-4-2): Jo Hyeonwoo; Lee Yong, Kim Younggwon, Jang Hyunsoo, Hong Chul; Hwang Heechan, Koo Jacheol, Jeong Wooyoung, Lee Seung-woo; Lee Jaesung, Son Heung-min.

Head-to-head statistics

This will be the fourth meeting between Germany and South Korea. Of the previous three meetings, two have been during World Cup tournaments - the Germans registered victories in both. In the last match between the pair, South Korea prevailed as 3-1 victors in a friendly match, back in 2004.

Stats to look forward to during this encounter

South Korea has equalled their joint-worst run in the World Cup, having failed to win in their last four matches. Germany have never failed to progress from the group stages at this tournament, but will be looking to become the first defending champions since Brazil in 2006 to not be knocked out at this stage.

In all five of their previous encounters with Asian teams at the World Cup, Germany have won. Toni Kroos, who scored their late winner last time out, has been involved in five goals in his last five World Cup appearances.

Germany vs South Korea, Group F:

Match date: Wednesday, 27th June 2018

Kick-off time: 20:00 IST

Match venue: Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia

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Varun Nair
ANALYST
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