Reus and Werner wary of pace and Son

South Korea and Germany face each other in a vital Group F game in Kazan on Wednesday, with the world champions feeling a little wary.

South Korea's Son Heung-min   -  Getty Images

Germany is bracing itself for the pace offered by South Korea's attack in its crucial final World Cup Group F clash, with Timo Werner particularly wary of Son Heung-min.

Joachim Low's side came back from the brink in its previous outing against Sweden, ultimately winning 2-1 after falling behind in the first half.

A defeat would have sent Germany packing, but Toni Kroos' sumptuous late strike saw them move level on three points with Sweden.

Its final group outing in Kazan on Wednesday is vital for both sides, as Korea – despite losing its first two games – can still qualify with a victory if it beats Germany by more than two goals and Mexico defeats Sweden.

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Given the world champion's troubles so far, a loss to South Korea is by no means out of the question, with Werner and Marco Reus well aware of the threats posed by its Asian counterparts.

"They have a lot of pace – especially up front. They have versatile players who have caused problems for teams at this tournament already," Reus told reporters.

Werner added: "They have very quick players, Sweden were more about power and size, whereas South Korea are smaller but pacey."

"Son is up there with the best in the world, we have to keep an eye on him. We shouldn't be looking at our opponents too much, though."

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Jerome Boateng's late red card for two bookable offences in 11 minutes means Low will be forced into at least one change on Wednesday, with Bayern Munich's Mats Hummels likely to come back into the starting XI after a neck injury.

He may even be partnered with club team-mate Niklas Sule, given Antonio Rudiger's shaky performance against Sweden.

As for South Korea, its unenviable task has been made even more difficult by the news midfielder Ki Sung-yueng will miss out with a calf injury which rules him out for two weeks.

"A medical inspection at a hospital showed that Ki damaged his left calf muscle. He needs two weeks of treatment," a Korean Football Association (KFA) official told Yonhap News.

If Germany was to ultimately be eliminated from the competition after this match, it would be the third successive reigning champion to not get out of the group stage.

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KEY PLAYERS

South Korea - Son Heung-min

If Korea is to produce an unlikely result, it needs to score goals and its best hope in that regard is the Tottenham forward. He has been one of few bright sparks for a team which has been accused of being overly aggressive and lacking creativity.

Germany - Marco Reus

The reigning champion simply has not clicked yet, with underwhelming performances from a number of key players resulting in changes. But, one player who has kept a consistent level in their two games is Reus, who has looked a constant threat in attack with his presence in the area and craft.

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Key stats

Germany has won all five of its World Cup games against Asian opponents, scoring 19 goals in total and keeping clean sheets in each of its last three.

Son attempted eight shots in South Korea's defeat to Mexico – three more than Korea managed in its opening match against Sweden (five shots).

Germany's victory over Sweden was its first at the World Cup when conceding first since 1998, a 2-1 win over Mexico.

Korea has lost its last four World Cup matches in a row, its joint-worst run – it also lost four in a row between 1986 and 1990.

 

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