Germany came from a goal behind to draw with Spain on Sunday evening. The draw still gives Germany a fighting chance to qualify out of the group stages if they beat Costa Rica and Spain beat Japan. Here are three things we learned from Germany’s clash with Spain.
1 | A centre forward makes all the difference
Isn’t it crazy what can happen when you have an out-and-out striker on the pitch? When Niclas Füllkrug was introduced on the 70th minute, Germany looked like a much better and more direct team. Beforehand, they had no one looking to get on the end of crosses or a central figure who could bring the ball down and link up with wingers. Füllkrug hadn’t represented his country since 2012 down to the U20, however since his resurgence at Werder Bremen, he’s scored twice in three games. More importantly, he got the equalising goal against Spain on Sunday. Don’t be surprised to see Füllkrug start against Costa Rica on Thursday.
2 | Jamal Musiala continues to be Germany’s main creative outlet
Jamal Musiala is a wonderful player and a pleasure to watch. Despite being only 19-years-old, he would walk into any team at this World Cup. He took the game to Spain at times and created countless chances. The youngster should have scored when the score was still 1-0 to Spain but no one is perfect. Musiala is more of a traditional number 10 than a winger. If Leroy Sané is fit enough to start against Costa Rica, it would be a huge boost for Germany and allow Musiala to play just behind the striker. This could also help Germany score plenty of goals in a game that could come down to goal difference.
3 | Not having a recognised right back is proving bad for Germany
In their first game against Japan, Niklas Süle played at right back and looked exposed and occasionally out of position. Ultimately it was his positioning that enabled Japan to score their second goal. Süle went back to his normal centre-back position for their second game and looked much more comfortable. Hansi Flick opted for West Ham United’s Thilo Kehrer against Spain who himself is a more natural central defender. Kehrer struggled and proved that Germany still do have defensive issues. If Germany are to get out of the group stages, their defensive weaknesses could prove too much and will be taken advantage of.
GGFN | Jamie Allen