South Korea vs Germany Preview



After a shaky start, can Germany secure progress to the knockout stages? (Image from besthqwallpapers)

Germany come into their next game against South Korea, after their thrilling encounter over Sweden. Joachim Low will be hoping that the dramatic win will give them the confidence to get the result they need. But defensively, Germany have been poor with players often finding themselves out of position, leaving them vulnerable on the counter attack. They come up against a South Korean side who have had a disappointing campaign, but still have a glimmer of hope that they can make it out of the group. These two team have only met three times before, with the most noticeable encounter being in the 2002 World Cup semi-finals, where Germany came out on top against the joint hosts.

How can Germany or South Korea Qualify?


Germany were seconds away from facing an uphill struggle to qualify for the next round, until Toni Kroos’ brilliantly curled the ball past the outstretched hands of the keeper, into the top corner of the goal. Now, in their game against South Korea, their fate lies in their own hands. Win by two clear goal and that will guarantee them progress to the knockout stages. Even if they don’t win by two clear goals, they can still qualify, but they will be reliant on the result in the other matches. This is perhaps the tightest of the groups, with there being a lot of permutations which can see any team qualify for the next round.

For example, if Germany beat South Korea 1-0 and Sweden beat Mexico 1-0, there will be an exact three-way tie between Germany, Mexico and Sweden (in terms of points, goal difference and goal scored). The group would be settled by a head-to-head mini-league which would be very close and would see Mexico miss out because they scored one less goal in the games involving the three countries and first place would be settled by fair play. Fair play points could also see Germany knocked out (for example if both Sweden and Germany win 2-1), so Jerome Boateng’s red card could prove to be very costly. South Korea are also still in with a chance to make it to the round of 16. They must beat Germany, hoping for Mexico to beat Sweden and end up on a better goal difference than both Germany and Sweden. All the potential situations and outcomes that can occur will certainly make Wednesday evening’s games a nail-biting watch.

South Korea's possible line-up


South Korea had an improved performance against Mexico, but will need just that something more to be able to beat the world champions. They used a 4-2-3-1 formation in the last match and could stick with this.
Goalkeeper – Jo Hyeon Woo 
Woo has been their first choice keeper for the last two games and is expected to keep his place for the big game against Germany.
Defenders – Minwoo Kim (RB), Younggwon Kim (CB) Hyunsoo Jang (CB) Yong Lee (LB)
Both Mexico and Sweden found success in keeping a tight defence and these 4 players know will also have to be on the top of their game to keep out the German attack.
Midfielders – Sungyueng Ki (CDM), Sejong JU (CDM), Seon-min moon (RM), Jaesung Lee (CAM), Hee-chan Wang (LM)

Playing in a holding midfield role, captain Ki Sungyueng will be a vital player for South Korea in Wednesday’s game. He is their most capped player in the squad (with 102 caps), and his leadership will be important for South Korea to get the result they need. Young talent, Hee-chan Wang will also be a key player especially if Korea are to hit Germany on the counter. His dribbling ability should test the German defence, especially with how vulnerable they have been at the back in recent games.

Striker – Heung Min Son (CF)
South Korea’s star player Son showed the world what he is capable of, after his stunning last-minute strike against Mexico. He will be leading the line and is the type of player that can make all the difference for his national side.



Will Heung Min Son make an impact against Germany? (Image from 101greatgoals)



Germany's possible line-up


After another defensive let-down, Joachim Low will be left with some tough choices, especially after Jerome Boateng’s red card.

Goalkeeper – Manuel Neuer 
Made a brilliant save in the first half against Sweden, to keep his team in the game and will almost definitely keep his place.

Defenders – Joshua Kimmich (RB), Mats Hummels (CB), Antonio Rudiger (CB), Jonas Hector (LB)
Mats Hummels missed Sweden’s game due to a neck injury and Joachim Low said that he is likely to be fit for Wednesday’s game to partner Rudiger in centre back. Kimmich as always provides an attacking threat, and South Korea will do well to contain him.
Midfielders – Toni Kroos (CDM), Ilkay Gundogan (CDM), Thomas Muller (RM), Marco Reus (CAM), Julian Brandt (LM)

After Draxler failed to make much of an impact in either of their last two games, Julian Brandt may start instead of him, who has been used a substitute in both games. Rudy suffered a broken nose early in their last game and was replaced by Gundogan who could make his way into the starting line-up.

Strikers – Timo Werner (CF)

Werner will be disappointed that he is yet to get off the mark in Russia, and will be looking for his first goal against South Korea. But Mario Gomez was effective when coming off the bench in their last match, and assisted Reus for the equalizer so he could have earned his place in the starting line-up.

Can Timo Werner get off the mark in Russia? (Image from Bundesliga.com)

Prediction


Both teams know they need to win this tie to progress, so it could end up being quite an open game. South Korea might still sit deep for large parts of the game so they must counter attack effectively if they are to have any chance of winning. Son has the potential to trouble a nervy defence and should provide a testing time for them. But I think Germany should be able to break down the Korean defence, and that they will come out as victors in an entertaining match, and I predict they will win 4-2.

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