Germany vs Sweden Preview

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.

Goalkeeper – Manuel Neuer

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.

Midfielders – Toni Kroos (CDM), Ilkay Gundogan (CDM), Marco Reus (RM), Thomas Muller (CAM), Julian Draxler (LM)

After Khedira was barely noticeable against Mexico, Man city’s Gundogan could come in, despite not being in favour with the fans after saying that the head of state of Turkey, was his president . Many have called for Ozil to be dropped from the starting 11 after a lethargic performance, so Muller may be moved into the central attacking role and Reus could be brought into the team, on the right. Draxler was also quiet for large parts of the game against Mexico, and his place in the team is certainly not guaranteed, but I think Joachim Low will start with him.

Striker – Timo Werner

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

Sweden might keep with the same starting 11 that faced South Korea, playing the same 4-4-2 formation.

Goalkeeper – Robin Olsen

Olsen should be tested a lot more against the German’s attack than he was against South Korea, and may need to be on his top form to keep Sweden in the game.

 Defenders – Mikael Lustig (RB), Victor Lindelöf (CB), Andreas Granqvist (CB), Ludwig Augustinsson (LB)
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.    

Midfielders – Emil Forsberg (LM), Albin Ekdal (CM), Sebastian Larsson (CM), Viktor Claesson (RM)

Ekdal plays an important role for Sweden in anchoring the midfield, whilst Sebastian Larsson always poses a threat with set pieces. Their wingers, Forsberg and Claesson will be looking to have more of an impact going forward than they did against South Korea, but they will know that chances to go forward should be harder to come by against Germany.

Strikers – Marcus Berg (CF), Ola Toivonen (CF)

Up top, Berg and Toivonen will be looking to capitalise on any chances they get. Mexico were quite wasteful against Germany, despite winning, but I don’t think Sweden can really afford to squander any clear chances. They lack the pace on the counter and Germany’s defence should be more resolute, learning from previous mistakes, so these two could struggle for chances up front.


Germany certainly have the players to go all the way, but at times it looked as if they lacked mentality. Sweden will be well defensively organised, and I can imagine that the majority of this game will be Germany trying to get in on behind the defence. Although this will be a hard task, I can see Germany just about clutching a result on Saturday and I predict that they will win 1-0.

Author: TUD Author