Germany head coach Joachim Low warned his players that they must not underestimate their World Cup opponents to avoid being their own “biggest enemy” at Russia 2018.
The world champions were drawn against Mexico, Sweden and South Korea in what Low described as an “exciting group” before giving his assessment of Germany’s opponents.
Low, who will aim to bring a fifth World Cup trophy back to Germany in 2018 to match Brazil’s record haul, highlighted the strength of all three Group F opponents.
“Mexico play at an incredibly high level,” he told DFB.de . “We know them from the Confederations Cup where we beat them [4-1 in the semi-final].
“Technically and tactically, they are a very good team, a tough opponent to open against. We definitely won’t be taking things lightly against them. They have always done very well in recent years.
“Sweden knocked Italy out in the play-offs so we absolutely cannot underestimate them. They’re a tough team, they have very good team spirit, lots of confidence and they defend well.
“I remember we drew 4-4 against them in the qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup, having led 4-0. This game showed me that you can never give up. This time we want to lead 5-0 to be sure!”
Germany topped Group C to qualify for the World Cup, winning all 10 of their games, scoring 43 goals and conceding just four.
Despite their outstanding form, Low urged his players to be wary of letting complacency impact them in Russia.
“Our biggest enemy will be if we go into the games against Sweden or South Korea thinking we only need to put in 80 or 90 per cent,” said Low.
“These teams will fight with all they have to reach the last 16. I know lots of Korean players, Heung-Min Son from Tottenham Hotspur of course, there are also lots in the Bundesliga.
“They have a great mentality and are very quick. They are getting better and better.”