An experimental Germany squad have done what they usually do and found themselves in the latter stages of a major tournament. Not without a few speed bumps along the way, however. Joachim Löw’s side have failed to keep a clean sheet so far and have conceded twice to Australia and once to 10-man Cameroon. If they possess weaknesses, those are surely at the back.
Mexico will be hoping to pounce on the apparent porous nature of Germany’s backline by deploying experienced attacking duo Javier Hernández and Giovani dos Santos. The pair are both approaching 100 caps for El Tricolor and both will likely do so before their 30th birthdays. Supplementing them in attack will be 21-year-old Hirving Lozano, who has just completed a move to PSV Eindhoven on a 6-year deal. He scored Mexico’s winner against Russia and should be brimming with youthful confidence.
Mexico have been in a losing position in all 3 of their group games and their presence in the semifinals is testament to the resilience within the playing squad. Their ability to produce flamboyant goal-scoring moments, coupled with uncertainty around Germany’s young defenders, should mean that an entertaining match is on the cards.
Likely starting XI (3-4-2-1): Ter Stegen; Ginter, Mustafi, Rüdiger; Kimmich, Can, Rudy, Hector; Goretzka, Draxler; Werner
Likely starting XI (3-4-1-2): Ochoa; Moreno, Araújo, Alanís; Damm, Santos, Reyes, Aquino; Fabián; Hernández, Jiménez
21-year-old RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner has just enjoyed a phenomenal season at club level. The youngster scored 21 goals in the Bundesliga during a remarkable breakout year. Germany’s success in recent years has hinged on the use of a ‘false 9’ but in Werner they have the genuine option of a conventional number 9 to lead the line for over a decade. Werner, utility man Joshua Kimmich and star playmaker Julian Draxler should form the basis of the German side for years to come, and 2017’s Confed Cup experience will be a major reason for that if they go all the way.
Clinical striker Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández is approaching 100 caps for Mexico and his goal-scoring prowess and superb off-the-ball movement will be an asset against an iffy German defence. The baby-faced attacker will be focused on adding to an already impressive tally of 48 goals in 94 appearances.
- Mexico have scored 2 goals in all 3 of their Confederations Cup group matches.
- Germany have only lost 1 of their last 20 matches, keeping 13 clean sheets in that sequence.
- Germany have yet to keep a clean sheet in this year’s Confederations Cup, however.
- This is the first meeting between the sides since Confederations Cup 2005, a clash which Germany eventually won 4-3 after extra time.
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