It’s time for group F. The group Germany should be winning with ease. Mexico, Sweden and South Korea all have other ideas.
He’s not played all season and could easily be replaced by their second best backup keeper, Ter Stegan – who’s had a brilliant season. But it’s Neuer. Only Buffon comes close over the last ten years.
Lahm’s retirement could have been a real issue for both Bayern and Germany – not just for his ability at right-back, but also for his versatility for when a manager moved to a back-three. Kimmich is even more versatile and, arguably, has more potential.
CB: Hummels & Boateng
Hummels and Boateng have been stalwarts for Germany for years, strengthening their connection when Hummels moved to Bayern in 2016. It’s however been a trickier year for the pair, with injuries – especially to Boateng – reducing their playing time. The younger Sule has stepped in and done well in their absences and could see more game time at international level. The likes of Ruddier, Tah and Ginter are all ready to step in.
Layun has had a bit of a strange career, blamed in his final two years at Mexico’s Club America for literally everything. Now, his versatility and experience are capturing the attention of Arsenal, Marseille and AC Milan. He’s an important player for Mexico.
Kroos makes Germany tick. If he doesn’t play well, Germany doesn’t play well. See Mexico defeat for example.
Sweden’s biggest weakness (being the lack of game-changing players) could be their biggest strength – with the team showing more cohesion and fight without their former god. Forsberg is the most talented of this bunch and they will be reliant on his creativity to get them the chances they need to win games.
Despite an indifferent two seasons at Bayern – which has seen him drop in-and-out of the team in favour of the more creative players such as Thiago and James Rodriguez – Muller will step-up for Germany when it counts. You cannot question his record.
Lozano was unstoppable for PSV this season. Scoring 23 goals en-route to the league title this season. His performance against Germany was explosive showing the World stage how much of a talent he is.
The difference in class between him and the rest of his team is vast. Arguably more so that Ronaldo for Portugal and Messi for Argentina. If South Korea is to progress, the Spurs forward has to step up.
I could easily have gone for Werner, who already has 8 goals in 15 for Germany, but Chicharito is already a Mexico legend. He’s a natural born goalscorer – regularly scoring 15+ a season at club level (even from the bench).
So here’s the team: