The defending World Cup champions make their debut in Russia on Sunday, taking on Mexico in the marquee matchup of Group F. Both teams have lofty goals, but only one is the odds favorite to win it all this summer.
Mexico vs. Germany Squads
These teams met recently in title, with Germany knocking off El Tri in the semifinals of the Confederations Cup. The word title is used because despite Mexico giving it their best effort, Germany demolished them- with their reserves.
Germany is without a major star, but they are top to bottom the best roster in the tournament. Leroy Sane, who was a key member of Manchester City’s Premier League title run, didn’t even get the final invite to Russia. This team is deep, this team is talented, and this team is largely without flaws.
Muller, Kroos, Ozil, Neuer. None of them were present for Germany’s stroll through the Confederations Cup. It’s borderline comical how much talent Germany has at their disposal.
If there’s ever a concern for Germany, it’s at the back. Manuel Neuer is the captain and leader of this team, but he hasn’t had a single minute of game action since September. Neuer should be ready for the tournament, but Germany manager Joachim Low has to decide between his captain or capable backup Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.
The Germans will deploy a 4-2-3-1, and their attacking midfield is world-class. Expect to see Thomas Muller, Marco Reus and PSG winger Julian Draxler causing major problems for the Mexican defense.
Even though it’s their first match, that Mexican defense is already shorthanded. Nestor Araujo failed to get healthy in time for the tournament, and Diego Reyes has already been ruled out with a hamstring injury.
Mexico is one of the hardest squads to project because of Osorio. He’s infamous for tinkering with his lineups, much to the dismay of critics and fans.
For Mexico to have any success, they must win on the left flank. They typically line up captain Andres Guardado behind rising star Hirving Lozano, making for a devastating counter attack up the 4-3-3. Mexico has always been known for their defense in the World Cup, but it will be a tough task against a German squad that scored 43 goals in qualifying.
Mexico vs. Germany Lineups
Lineups are released one hour before kickoff
Mexico: Ochoa, Salcedo, Ayala, Moreno, Gallardo, Layun, Guardado, Vela, Herrera, Lozano, Hernandez
Germany: Neuer, Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Plattenhardt, Khedira, Kroos; Müller, Özil, Draxler, Werner.