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WC Qualification Europe

  • October 16, 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Olympiastadion Berlin, Berlin
  • Referee: Pedro Proença
  • • Attendance: 72369
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Germany - Sweden Preview: Hosts target 14th straight qualifier win

Germany - Sweden Preview: Hosts target 14th straight qualifier win

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Joachim Low's side have taken maximum points from their first three Group C matches, but Erik Hamren's side have a rich history against the Nationalelf

  PROBABLE LINEUP

GERMANY

Neuer
Lahm, Mertesacker, Badstuber, Schmelzer
Schweinsteiger, Kroos
Muller, Ozil, Reus
Klose


SWEDEN

Isaksson
Lustig, Granqvist, J Olsson, M Olsson
Wernbloom, Kallstrom
Larsson, Ibrahimovic, Kacaniklic
Ranegie


Germany are set to make two changes from the team that thrashed Republic of Ireland 6-1 in Dublin on Friday night. The good news for Joachim Low is that captain Philipp Lahm will be back from suspension and able to reclaim the right-back slot from Jerome Boateng, with Marcel Schmelzer retaining his place on the left-hand side of defence.

However, midfielder Sami Khedira was withdrawn at half-time due to a calf injury, and although Low was was quick to emphasise that the Real Madrid star was not seriously injured, he is likely to be replaced by Toni Kroos, who scored twice against the Irish.

Elsewhere, however, they should be unchanged, with Miroslav Klose, Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil and Marco Reus spearheading the attack once more.

Sweden, meanwhile, have a full set of players to choose from for the trip to Berlin, though may elect to make a couple of changes from the side that struggled to beat Faroe Islands on Friday.

Fulham winger Alexander Kacaniklic replaced Christian Wilhelmsson against the Nordic minnows, scoring an equaliser within three minutes of his introduction and will be hopeful of replacing the veteran, while either Marcus Berg or Johan Elmander could come in for Mathias Ranegie up front.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Germany eliminated Sweden in the semi-finals of the 1992 European Championship, which was held on Blagult's own turf, only to suffer a shock defeat to Denmark in the Gothenburg-hosted final.
  • This match occurs just one day before the five-year anniversary of die Mannschaft's only qualifying loss under Joachim Low, a 3-0 reverse at the hands of Czech Republic at the Allianz Arena.
  • Toni Kroos (pictured, right) scored two second-half goals against Ireland on Friday. He had managed the same number in all of his previous 33 international matches.
  • Sweden have beaten the Germans on a total of 13 occasions. Only England and Italy have had more success against the Nationalelf.
  • The Scandinavians inflicted a penalty shoot-out defeat on the Germans at the Olympiastadion in the semi-finals of the Four Nations tournament of 1998. Rudi Voller and Lothar Matthaus missed the decisive spot kicks.
  • Goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson won his 100th cap for his country in the 2-1 win over Faroe Islands on Friday. The former PSV glovesman made his debut in March 2002 against Switzerland.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
Players to Watch
Marco Reus
Marco Reus
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 21
Games Goals YC RC
6 5 3 0
One Germany player, Marco Reus, is truly in the form of his life at the moment. The 23-year-old has been simply astonishing for Borussia Dortmund, putting in incredible performances against the likes of Borussia Monchengladbach and Manchester City, and made the difference against Ireland on Friday. If Sweden manage to keep him quiet, they have a great chance of silencing Germany and pulling off an upset.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
11 8 2 0
Just about every Germany player has spoken of his respect for Zlatan Ibrahimovic over the past week, and given the striker's superb start to life at Paris Saint-Germain, it's not hard to see why. The former Barcelona forward has been scoring for fun at Parc des Princes, and also netted the winner for his country against Faroe Islands on Friday. If Germany defend as they did against Argentina in August, one man could truly punish them.
Prediction
Germany may have stormed past Ireland on Friday, but it's highly unlikely that Joachim Low's side will find things so easy against Sweden on Tuesday. The Scandinavians were unlucky to be eliminated in the group stage at Euro 2012, and will prove to be stern opposition, but, truth be told, the Germans have a far better squad and should be able to see off the Swedish challenge.
Editor's Prediction
Sweden 1

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