Mario Gomez Mesut Ozil Ilkay Gundogan Germany
Mario Gomez, Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundoga are all in contention for a start against South KoreaAlexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Germany left it as late as they possibly could to stay alive in this Fifa World Cup 2018, and now they will look to get to the "they're back to their best" stage when they play South Korea for a place in the last 16.

After a disastrous start to their World Cup campaign, Germany looked to be virtually out of this World Cup when they were being held by Sweden in their second game of Group F, only for Toni Kroos to score a stunner right at the end.

That win not only kept Germany alive, it put them in the driver's seat to qualify for the round of 16.

A big win over South Korea, something Germany are certainly capable of, should be enough, and what Joachim Low will want more than anything is for his side not to leave it so late.

A dismal show against Mexico was followed up by an improved performance, but Germany still showed signs of nervousness, with that calm they oozed four years ago yet to find its way to Russia.

South Korea have a slim chance of qualifying to the knockout rounds of the Fifa World Cup 2018, but they will not only need to beat Germany comprehensively, they also will have to hope Mexico do them a favour by getting the better of Sweden.

Those set of results, while possible, is highly unlikely, so this match will be about Germany finding their attacking mojo and scoring a fair few goals past the South Korea defence.

Team news:


Mesut Ozil missed out in that dramatic match against Sweden, with Joachim Low deciding to drop the Arsenal playmaker for Marco Reus and Julian Draxler. However, the feeling is Ozil will return against South Korea, with Draxler, who has failed to impress in two straight starts, set to miss out.

Low also has the option of shifting Timo Werner out wide – the RB Leipzig man played much better in that position against Sweden – and bringing Mario Gomez as the central striker, which would mean Ozil starting on the bench for a second straight match.

Jerome Boateng Germany red card
Jerome Boateng is suspended after receiving a red card in Germany's last gameMichael Steele/Getty Images

Germany missed their first-choice defender Mats Hummels against Sweden with a neck injury, and while the centre-back is expected to be fit for this must-win against South Korea, his Bayern Munich team-mate Jerome Boateng will miss out. Boateng is suspended after picking up a red card late on against Sweden.

Low will also need to make a change in midfield, with Sebastian Rudy, who had to be taken off with a broken nose, not fit enough. It will be a straight choice between Sami Khedira and Ilkay Gundogan, who replaced Rudy in the last game.

South Korea:

They need a win to stand any chance of qualification, but the Korea Republic will have to do that without their captain Ki Sung-yueng, who has been ruled out of the Germany game with a calf strain. Koo Ja-cheol is set to replace Ki in the starting XI.

Confirmed starting XI:

Germany: Manuel Neuer; Joshua Kimmich, Mats Hummels, Niklas Sule, Jonas Hector; Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos; Leon Goretzka, Mesut Ozil, Marco Reus; Timo Werner.

South Korea: Jo Hyeon-woo; Lee Yong, Yun Young-sun, Kim Young-gwon, Hong Chul; Lee Jae-sung, Jung Woo-young, Jang Hyun-soo, Moon Seon-min; Koo Ja-cheol, Son Heung-min.