World Cup Preview: South Korea v Germany

ROSTOV-ON-DON, RUSSIA - JUNE 23: Son Heung-Min of Korea Republic acknowledges the fans following the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Korea Republic and Mexico at Rostov Arena on June 23, 2018 in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

After two jaw-dropping rounds, Group F is yet to be decided. A tense South Korea v Germany match up will close the group, while Sweden and Mexico face-off at the same time.

South Korea v Germany

As it stands, every team has a chance to qualify for the next round. Mexico have six points, Sweden and Germany are both with three points and Korea have no points. 

To qualify Germany need to beat Korea by a two goal margin. By winning by a one goal margin, they would need Mexico to beat Sweden by one goal or Sweden to beat Mexico by a two goal margin. 

Despite how low Korea’s odds are, they can still qualify. If they manage to beat Germany by a two goal margin and Mexico beat Sweden by one goal, they would qualify on goal difference. 

Germany

After a disappointing loss in their first game against Mexico, the reigning champions needed four minutes of stoppage time to beat Sweden in the second round. 

Much like in their previous game, the Germans controlled possession, displaying a bold 4-2-4 when attacking.

None of the four forwards had a defined position. Joachim Löw instructed them to move around as much as possible to find space between Swedish lines. 

Despite controlling possession for the most part of the game, Germany were punished by their own mistakes. Both Mexico and Sweden explored the space behind the full-backs and found the chances they were looking for.

Despite their victory, the pressure is still on. Germany must beat Korea to qualify to the knockout stage.

South Korea

One of the biggest underperforming sides at this tournament, Korea couldn’t even provide their key man Heung-Min Son with chances to make an impact. The Tottenham forward still managed to score a beautiful goal against Mexico, but that wasn’t enough to make a difference.

Very disorganised overall, Korea failed to pull off any of their plays. The Swansea midfielder Sung-Yueng Ki was the only player capable of moving the ball forward with quality but the lack of good options made his job almost impossible.

Out of the three goals Korea suffered in this World Cup, two were scored from the penalty spot. Both results of poor challenges inside the penalty box; disorganized and nervous.

To beat Germany, the Koreans will have to play a level of football never shown before. The Germans will press them and force them into their own penalty area. Having so many opponents in the box would take serious concentration not to commit any fouls in 90 minutes.

Having covered their defensive problems, Korea could indeed count with Son and Hwang to make some noise. The Tottenham star is a very good finisher and would make Neuer sweat if he got the chance. 

Despite how hard it seems, Korea can still believe in qualification. Even against the almighty World Champions. 

Predicted Line-ups

Germany: Neuer, Kimmich, Rüdiger, Hummels, Hector, Kroos, Gündogan, Reus, Werner, Draxler and Müller.

South Korea: Cho, Y. Lee, Jang, Y. G. Kim, M. W. Kim, Koo, Ki, Mun, J. S. Lee, Hwang and Son.

Prediction: South Korea 0-3 Germany

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