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