4-time champions and the current holder of the FIFA World Cup takes on Mexico. Germany are reinforced with young blood with quick feet, tricks and flicks under their belt, the right balance of experienced and world class players in their varsity, fully equipped to become World Champions again.
While change was imminent with retirement of veteran Lahm and Bastian Shweinsteiger for Germany, two things have remained stable: success and Joachim Low. Die Mannschaft breezed through World Cup qualifying, winning ten out of ten, scoring 43 and conceding just four, and lifted the FIFA Confederations Cup last year with a youthful squad, while Low recently penned a contract until 2020.
WATCH THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE CONFEDERATIONS CUP WHEN GERMANY TOOK ON MEXICO (FIFA Official website)
On the way to that latter title, Germany saw off Mexico, who have themselves grown under the tutelage of Juan Carlos Osorio, in charge since 2015. The Colombian coach will look to avenge the 4-1 defeat in Sochi last year after steering Mexico comprehensively through World Cup qualifying – they lost just once in 16 games, the sole defeat coming after their passage to Russia had already been confirmed.
FIFA Team Reporter Analysis:
Martin Langer with Mexico-
Mexico know they are not favourites, but a good performance would be a strong statement to start the World Cup. If they manage to draw it would be taken as a superb result, given that Germany won 4-1 in their last encounter. Coach Juan Carlos Osorio and the players have stated they are up to the challenge and are not afraid. Let’s see if that translates into a strong performance on Sunday.
Steffen Potter with Germany –
The holders open their tournament against possibly the strongest opponent in Group F and are well aware of the challenge that lies ahead. Germany’s line-up poses some tough questions for Low, and he has said that Julian Draxler will start, likely joining Mesut Ozil at the expense of Marco Reus. They will be hoping for a repeat of 2014, when they comfortably beat highly-rated Portugal 4-0 in their opener.
Likely line-ups :
Germany: Manuel Neuer; Joshua Kimmich, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Jonas Hector; Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos; Thomas Müller, Mesut Ozil, Julian Draxler; Timo Werner
Mexico: Guillermo Ochoa; Carlos Salcedo, Hugo Ayala, Hector Moreno, Miguel Layun; Hector Herrera, Andres Guardado; Carlos Vela; Jesus Corona, Javier Hernandez, Hirving Lozano
(With Inputs from FIFA Official Website)