KAZAN, Russia — Germany is bracing itself for the pace offered by South Korea's attack in their 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' late strike saw it move level on three points with Sweden.
Their 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.
Given the world champions' 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 their Asian counterparts.
"They have a lot of pace — especially up front," Reus told reporters. "They have versatile players who have caused problems for teams at this tournament already."
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."
Jerome Boateng's late red card for two bookable offenses in 11 minutes means Low will be forced into at least one change 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 teammate 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 that midfielder Ki Sung-yueng is sidelined with a calf injury that rules him out for two weeks.
"A medical inspection at a hospital showed that Ki damaged his left calf muscle," a Korean Football Association official told Yonhap News. "He needs two weeks of treatment."
If Germany were 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.
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 that 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 Germany's two games is Reus, who has looked a constant threat in attack with his presence in the area and craft.
KEY OPTA FACTS
— Germany has won all five of its World Cup games against Asian opponents, scoring 19 goals in total and keeping clean sheets in its last three.
— Son attempted eight shots in South Korea's loss 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 '90.