After Die Mannschaft’s main training session today, manager Joachim Löw confirmed (via SportBild) that center back Mats Hummels sustained a cervical injury after twisting his neck in an awkward motion yesterday. To add insult to injury (quite literally), Löw said that Hummels probably won’t be able to play vs. Sweden as he doubts he’ll recover on time:
#Löw: "@matshummels probably won't be able to play tomorrow. He twisted his neck yesterday and it hasn't improved. I'm not expecting him to recover in time." #GERSWE#DieMannschaft #ZSMMN #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/CurAzzEwqd— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) June 22, 2018
The injury to Hummels means that Löw will be forced to make a tactical decision on who should play in his place with the natural, like-for-like options being either Niklas Süle or Antonio Rüdiger. Theoretically, Löw could also opt to play a back three with two wing-backs, but that would require three natural center backs. Hence, it seems far more logical that Löw will keep a back four and slot either Sule or Rudiger in for Hummels.
This will be the second time Löw will have to make changes to his preferred starting back line. Left-back Jonas Hector missed the Mexico match through an illness, and Marvin Plattenhardt stood in for him. Presumably, Hector will slot right back in to the left back spot now that he’s healthy, but the decision for Low ultimately boils down to playing either Süle or Rüdiger. In the past, Löw has shown a preference for Rüdiger.
Who should play in place of Hummels?
This poll is closed
Both; in a back three