Could the defending World Cup champions Germany fail to advance to the knockout stage in Russia? If the Germans are upset by South Korea on Wednesday, that’s exactly what could happen. However, Germany is a big soccer betting favorite to beat the only winless team in Group F.
2018 World Cup Group F Betting Pick: Germany v South Korea
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) 26 de junio de 2018
- When: Wednesday, 10 AM ET
- Where: Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia
- TV / Stream: Fox / Fox Sports Go
- 2018 World Cup Betting Odds: Germany -500 / South Korea +950 / Draw +620 (Total 3.5)
Why Bet on Germany?
- Confederation: UEFA
- Head coach: Joachim Löw
- Captain: Manuel Neuer
- FIFA Ranking: 1
- World Cup Appearances: 19
Germany will qualify for the knockout round if they win by two or more clear goals. If both Germany and Sweden (vs. Mexico) draw their games, then the team in the higher-scoring game will finish second. If the matches finish with the same score, then Germany will finish second because they beat Sweden.
The Germans lost their tournament opener in a shock, 1-0 to Mexico, but stunned Sweden in injury time 2-1 last time out. Down 1-0 to the Swedes, Germany got level through Marco Reus (48) but three points were seemingly slipping away from Joachim Low’s side, especially after Jerome Boateng was sent off in the 82nd minute after two bookable offenses. However, Toni Kroos produced a moment of magic in the final minute of stoppage time.
Kroos’ goal against Sweden was the latest goal scored by Germany in normal time at the World Cup (94:42) – Kroos has been involved in five goals in his last five World Cup games (3 goals, 2 assists). Germany came from behind at half-time to win a World Cup match for the first time since 1974 – which was also against Sweden (0-1 at HT, won 4-2). It was the ninth consecutive occasion that Germany followed a defeat at the World Cup with a victory.
Low dropped Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira from the side that desperately needed a victory after falling to Mexico in the opener. Those two were left on the bench for Marco Reus and Sebastian Rudy, while Jonas Hector came in for the injured Mats Hummels and Antonio Rudiger took the place of Marvin Plattenhardt. It was the first time Ozil had neither started nor featured for Germany in a major tournament match.
Boateng will miss this match with his two yellow cards. Boateng was the first player to be sent off at the World Cup for Germany since Miroslav Klose in 2010 against Serbia. The Germans may also have to do without midfielder Sebastian Rudy, who suffered a broken nose 26 minutes into the match against Sweden. “We must be prepared that he can’t play,” Germany assistant coach Marcus Sorg said, adding that Hummels could return after missing the match with a neck injury.
Germany has won all five of their World Cup games against Asian opponents, scoring 19 goals in total and keeping clean sheets in each of their last three.
- 1-M. Neuer
- 5-M. Hummels
- 16-A. Rüdiger
- 18-J. Kimmich
- 8-T. Kroos
- 19-S. Rudy
- 3-J. Hector
- 7-J. Draxler
- 13-T. Müller
- 11-M. Reus
- 9-T. Werner
Why Bet on South Korea?
- Confederation: AFC
- Head coach: Shin Tae-Yong
- Captain: Ki Sung-Yueng
- FIFA Ranking: 57
- World Cup Appearances: 10
South Korea can advance if they beat Germany and Sweden lose, and finish with a better goal difference than those two teams.
The Koreans lost 1-0 to Sweden to open the tournament and then 2-1 to Mexico. Tottenham’s Heung-Min Son scored in injury-time vs. Mexico, finding the top corner with his left boot (90+3). In the first half, Heung-Min Son had six shots (including blocks) – more than South Korea managed in the entirety of their first match against Sweden.
South Korea shook up their midfield, handing starts to Seon-Min Moon and Se-Hong Ju. South Korea have lost their last four World Cup matches; their joint-worst losing run at the World Cup, also losing four between 1986 and 1990. South Korea have conceded a penalty goal in each of their last two World Cup matches – they had conceded just one goal via a penalty in their previous 29 World Cup games combined.
Korea Republic midfielder Ju Sejong: “I expect Germany will come out strong in order to score as many goals as possible against us, which could allow us some space at their back. We’d have to take full advantage of that with our quick counter-attacks through Seungwoo or Seonmin.”
Two of the three matches between South Korea and Germany have been at World Cup finals, with the Germans winning both contests (1994, 2002). The most recent World Cup meeting between South Korea and Germany was at the Koreans’ home World Cup in 2002, with the hosts losing 1-0 in the semi-finals. South Korea’s only victory against Germany came in a friendly match in 2004 (3-1).
“We’ve still got hope, and we’ll give our all to beat one of the best teams in football,” Lee Jaesung said, with a win still having the potential to send them through. “I personally think we should put more emphasis on attack, as we need to score two more goals against Germany.”
- 23-Cho Hyun-Woo
- 19-Kim Young-Gwon
- 2-Lee Yong
- 20-Jang Hyun-Soo
- 16-Ki Sung-Yeung
- 12-Kim Min-Woo
- 18-Moon Seon-Min
- 8-Ju Se-Jong
- 17-Lee Jae-Sung II
- 7-Son Heung-Min
- 11-Hwang Hee-Chan
Expert Final Score Prediction
Germany 3 – South Korea 1
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