|Can Germany recover after their shock defeat to Mexico? (Image from Vanguard News)|
Holders Germany made an awful start to their campaign in Russia, losing their first game to Mexico. Therefore, Saturday’s game against Sweden in Sochi will be crucial for them to win, if they want to progress to the next round. Sweden made a more successful start to the tournament after a gritty 1-0 win against South Korea. A win for Sweden here will send them through to the next round, and after watching how Die Mannschaft performed against Mexico, Sweden will come into this game with the belief that they too can get a result against the holders. These two teams are quite familiar with each other, meeting 31 times, with Germany winning 15 of them. These two teams produced enthralling games when they met both times in the qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup, with Germany winning one 5-3 and drawing the other 4-4. If we witness a game half as entertaining as those previous encounters, we would certainly be in for a treat.
Germany’s possible line-up
|Joachim Low has some tough choices ahead of the game against Sweden (Image from Goal)|
Joachim Low could change up his side after players not performing up to scratch and there being plenty of viable alternatives on the bench. However, he is usually loyal to his players and might only make a few changes in personnel. He is likely to stick with the same 4-2-3-1 formation.
Germany’s number one should keep his place for his 15thWorld Cup match.
Defenders – Joshua Kimmich (RB), Mats Hummels (CB), Jerome Boateng (CB), Jonas Hector (LB)
Hector looks set to take his usual starting place at left back after being absent in their previous fixture due to illness and his replacement, Marvin Plattenhardt, not impressing. Kimmich is likely to keep his role in right back, but a lot more will be expected from him, in terms of tracking back. However, Sweden don’t have as much as pace as Mexico, so Kimmich may not be as challenged defensively as he was on Sunday. The centre-back pairing of Hummels and Boateng should stay the same.
Werner should keep his place in the team, and will be hoping for more service into the box from the midfield.
Sweden’s possible line-up
|Victor Lindelöf could be back in action (Image from Sky Sports)|
Manchester United’s centre back, Lindelöf, is likely to come back into the starting eleven after missing the previous game through illness. He will be alongside captain, and surprise match-winner, Andreas Granqvist, in a defence that will need to stay tight to prevent Germany from cutting through the back.