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How should Germany line up against South Korea?

We explore how Jogi Löw may line up Germany for the second of their two do-or-die matches to survive the World Cup group stage.

Germany v Sweden: Group F - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Julian Brandt is looking for his first start for Germany.
Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Tom Adams

A few of the main reasons for this starting XI selection. I think Rüdiger held is own vs. Sweden, especially with how often Boateng roamed far forward, so he should start alongside a [now] fit Hummels in the center of defense. The midfield three of Gündogan, Kroos, and Müller is set up with the idea that Kroos and Gundogan will alternate holding roles, giving Müller more license to operate in between the center and front three; that’s usually where he’s most effective. Lastly, I think we all saw how much a difference Mario Gomez made when he came on vs. Sweden and pushed Werner out wide on the left, where he was much more effective; and Reus simply has to be in the starting XI for me, he was one of our best players on the pitch vs. Sweden and the brief part he played vs. Mexico.


Drop Draxler for Brandt: Draxler offers almost nothing in offense, defence, or midfield. Shift Müller inside and have him interplay with Werner, which will help both players, because Müller can draw defenders away from Werner and provide him some service inside the box.

Rudy should play because he was excellent against Sweden, but if he isn’t fit then Goretzka should play. Gündogan was a non-factor in that game.

And finally, in defence Hummels should slot back in, and Süle should partner with him with Boateng out of the picture. Rüdiger didn’t do too badly against Sweden, but Süle really should be the one playing because of his superior speed, height, passing range, and chemistry with his teammates.

Sir Drake Hills

Jogi Löw realizes what has worked and what has not in the last two matches. Jérôme Boateng and Sebastian Rudy, due to a broken nose and Boateng’s double-yellow send off, are unavailable, so Nikolas Süle and Ilkay Gündogan must step up. Nothing is wrong with Antonio Rüdiger, but it wouldn’t be elementary to think that the Chelsea center-back would have trouble both pushing the back line forward and helping Joshua Kimmich stop Heung-min Son from scoring. Up front, despite not scoring a goal, Mario Gomez provides a lift off the shoulders of the attacking three midfielders that do the bulk of the labor. Although it’s not for the best, Müller will play wide right, while Mesut Özil and Timo Werner can switch on the left. Werner performed extremely well as a winger despite being known as natural 9. As for Özil, this seams like a Eli Manning-Ben McAdoo situation. The streak of Özil starting consecutive major tournament matches (26) is over, but his technical quality is needed in a team of poachers. If he racks up an assist or two, don’t worry, you can thank him after the match.

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