Germany vs Mexico Preview



Can Mexico upset the odds in their first game? (Image from Goli Sports)

On the fourth day of the World Cup, reigning champions Germany will face Mexico in the Luzhniki stadium, where the tournament kicked off. Both teams will be looking to get off to a winning start in Russia, but with Germany definite favourites, this should be Mexico’s toughest challenge of the group stage. These two teams have faced each other several times in competitive fixtures, with the most recent match-up being last year in the semi-finals Confederations Cup, where Germany comfortably beat Mexico 4-1.


Mexico's Possible Line-up

Despite finishing top of their qualifiers, Mexico’s recent form has been a bit worrying, as they have only found the back of the net once in their last 4 friendlies. Even though they dominated against Scotland and Wales, they weren’t clinical enough with only one goal coming from a total of 54 shots across the two matches. Mexico have been chopping and changing their formation over the last few games, adapting their tactics depending on their opponents, making it hard for the opposition to prepare for them. I think they will probably use a 4-2-3-1 formation, allowing them to sit back against the Germans, but also hit quickly on the counter attack.

 Goalkeeper: Guillermo Ochoa
Mexico's keeper Ochoa (Image from Yahoo Sports)
In goal, one of Mexico’s stars of the 2014 World Cup, Ochoa will start and he certainly knows how to perform on the big occasion. Ochoa pulled off some memorable saves at the last World Cup (including his Gordan Banks-esque save against Neymar), earning him the Man of the Match title in big games against Netherlands and Brazil.  His presence between the posts could be key for Mexico to stay in the match.

Defenders: Edson Alvarez (RB), Carlos Salcedo (CB), Hector Moreno (CB), Miguel Layun (LB)
At the back, their youngest player Alvarez may feature (after the recent injury of Diego Reyes), as well as experienced centre back Hector Moreno. Speaking of experienced players, although may not start, the veteran Rafael Marquez could feature at some point, becoming only the fifth player to feature in 5 World Cups. Marquez has an incredible 145 caps for Mexico and is one of 4 players in the 100-club for Mexico at Russia. This defence will have to stay tight at the back to make sure this crafty German attack can’t get through.

Midfielders: Hector Herrera (CDM), Andres Guardado (CDM), Hirving Lozano (RM), Giovani Dos Santos (CAM), Carlos Vela (LM)
 Captain Andres Guardado (also with 145 caps) will lead from the holding role alongside key player Hector Herrera, capable of making dangerous through balls. The one to watch for Mexico is the promising young winger Hirving Lozano, who provided 17 goals and 8 assists in PSV’s title winning season, tipped by many to rise to prominence in Russia.
Will Lozano be one of the breakout stars from the World Cup? (Image from Sports Illustrated)

Striker: Javier Hernandez
Former Manchester United star, Javier Hernandez will be upfront for Mexico and as their all-time record goalscorer, he will be looking to add to his tally of 49 goals for his country.

  Germany's Possible Line-up

In past World Cups, Die Mannschaft have often made the best possible starts, with 20 goals coming in their last 4 opening games. They come into the tournament on slightly mediocre form, but Joachim Low says that Germany are fully prepared ahead of their opening fixture, after working hard with the team in training. Germany look likely to play 4-2-3-1 and can start a strong team against Mexico, with no fresh injury concerns.
 Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer
 Neuer is likely to start for Germany despite his season-long injury, since Joachim Low did confirm he was still their number one keeper.

 Defenders: Joshua Kimmich (RB), Mats Hummels (CB), Jerome Boateng (CB), Hector (LB)
All four defenders apart from Hector play together for German champions Bayern Munich, so they will know how to defend well as a unit. Despite not looking completely solid at the back in recent friendlies, manager Joachim Low said they are ready ahead of Sunday’s game, after improvements in training.

Midfielders: Toni Kroos (CDM), Sami Khedira (CDM), Thomas Muller (RAM), Mesut Ozil (CAM), Marco Reus (LAM)
All of this midfield ,apart from Marco Reus, starred in the last World Cup, where they ended up with the trophy. Thomas Muller will be looking to add to his international goals tally, with 10 goals from his last two World Cups, which makes him the top scorer in tournament out of the players who are still active. There has been controversy because of Ozil and Gundogan (both of Turkish descent) being photographed with the Turkish president leading to them being jeered in recent games, but Germany will hope this doesn't overshadow their campaign.


Ozil and Gundogan with Turkey's president (Image from the Guardian)

Striker: Timo Werner (CF)
RB Leipzig’s Werner will be looking to make his mark in Russia and many see him as one of the potential surprise stars of the World Cup.

 Prediction

Although both teams aren’t coming into the tournament on a run of great form, they will be hoping to qualify from Group F. Germany are of course the favourites for this match, but it will be a tough game for them, especially with the pace of Mexico’s attack. I can see this being a tight 2-1 win for Germany.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Manchester Derby Combined XI

Possible replacements for Jose Mourinho after the 18/19 season

Manchester City vs Manchester United Preview

Manchester City vs Manchester United Analysis

Juventus Vs Manchester United Player Ratings

Manchester City vs Manchester United Player Ratings

The Resurgence of Luke Shaw

Juventus vs Manchester United Analysis

Axel Tuanzebe: the Centre-back United need?

AFC Bournemouth vs Manchester United Preview