Germany face a must win game against Costa Rica in their final Group E match at the Al Bayt Stadium on Thursday night. Bottom and winless at the World Cup, Die Mannschaft must win and hope that Spain beat Japan in the corresponding fixture. They can still advance in the event that Spain and Japan draw, but the permutations get a little more complicated.
Speaking ahead of Thursday’s game, Hansi Flick stated that all 26 players are available. Leroy Sané played his first minutes at this year’s World Cup following his introduction against Spain, a game that Kai Havertz missed due to a cold. He also stated that Mario Götze and Lukas Klostermann could be an option.
In goal, Flick will persist with Manuel Neuer. We’re also likely to see a defensive partnership of Niklas Süle and Antonio Rüdiger for consistency after the duo impressed against Spain in a game that Nico Schlotterbeck was dropped to the bench and replaced by Thilo Kehrer, who played at right-back.
A midfield trio of Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Ilkay Gündogan is possible again and we can expect to see Jamal Musiala, who is making an early claim for Young Player of the Tournament, start. The biggest question marks regarding the starting XI is who starts as the No. 9, and does Serge Gnabry play?
Flick may opt for Sané over Gnabry against Costa Rica and although Füllkrug made an impact when he was introduced against Spain, does he start ahead of Havertz or Thomas Müller? The latter started as the No. 9 against Spain but struggled and appeared isolated, resulting in few touches of the ball.
Germany Predicted XI vs Costa Rica
Manuel Neuer – Lukas Klostermann, Niklas Süle, Antonio Rüdiger, David Raum – Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka – Leroy Sané, Ilkay Gündogan, Jamal Musiala – Thomas Müller.
GGFN | Daniel Pinder