Germany still hasn’t found a replacement Miroslav Klose and his goals. The World Cup’s all-time leading scorer with 16 goals retired after winning the title in Brazil seven years ago.
World Cup champions Germany are heavy favourites against Mexico in the second semi-final of the 2017 Confederations Cup, but the Europeans will have to be wary of complacency when the sides clash at the Fisht Olympic Stadium on Thursday.
A youthful Die Mannchsaft side has been getting better with every game in Russia, as manager Joachim Low seems to have found his ‘first-choice’ starting XI at last.
Mexico were impressive in their group encounters as well and while they are very much the underdogs, El Tri are more than capable of springing a massive upset.
Timo Werner’s pace in attack seems to be a perfect fit for this young German side bereft of all their major stars. Sandro Wagner’s lack of cutting-edge was hurting the side and Low’s faith in the young Werner has paid off as the RB Leipzig striker has notched two goals in as many games.
With players like Julian Draxler and Emre Can proving able support, Werner could wreak havoc against a somewhat shaky Mexican defence.
There seems to be no significant concerns, especially after Marc Andre ter Stegen replaced Bernd Leno in goal. A three-man defensive system, however, is always susceptible to counter attacks and with the Mexican attack possessing serious pace, that is one area the Germans could be overwhelmed in.
What they are saying: "Mexico is going to be a tough game, they are a very flexible team with very good players,”asserted Germany manager Joachim Low (AFP).
Injury concerns: Leon Goretzka (Head), Diego Demme (Back)
Suspension Alert: None
While Germany have immense bench strength, CONCACAF champions Mexico have proved they can rest several big names and yet play well, with many young guns stepping up to the plate when called upon by manager Juan Osorio.
With experienced forwards Javier Hernandez aka Chicharito and Carlos Vela, hotshot winger Hivring Lozano and a pair of safe hands in Guillermo Ochoa, there is plenty of reason to believe El Tri can upset their European opponents
The possession battle will be intense but one of the Central Americans may lose out on and that is why they will have to bomb forward on the counter and hope that their finishing is prolific if they are to script a result that will send shockwaves!
What they are saying: ““They are the world champions and we're very happy to be in this match," said Mexico striker Javier Hernandez (AFP).
Injury concerns: Diego Reyes (Hamstring), Chicharito (Muscle)
Suspension Alert: None
Super Stat: Mexico have just one win against Germany in 10 previous games, a famous 2-0 win over the then-West German side in 1985!