KAZAN, Russia: Germany forward Thomas Mueller was dropped for their crunch Group F clash against South Korea on Wednesday but his fellow World Cup winners Mezut Ozil and Sami Khedira were recalled to the starting lineup.
Mueller has scored 10 goals over two World Cups but was relegated to the bench after drawing a blank in Germany’s first two matches in Russia, with attacking midfielder Leon Goretzka selected instead.
Holding midfielder Sebastian Rudy had replaced Khedira in the team but suffered a broken nose in Germany’s second match against Sweden and was not fit to play at the Kazan Arena even with a mask.
Ozil was also dropped for the Sweden game but has been restored to the midfield for the clash with the Koreans.
Niklas Suele replaced the suspended Jerome Boateng in central defence alongside Mats Hummels, who returns in place of Antonio Ruediger after missing the last-gasp win over Sweden with a neck injury.
For South Korea, Jung Woo-young comes into the midfield for Ki Sung-yueng after the captain was ruled out of the match by a calf strain.
Son Heung-min will wear the captain’s armband for the South Koreans.—REUTERS