Monday, February 6, 2023

Musiala And Sane To Start | Predicted 4-2-3-1 Germany Lineup To Face Costa Rica

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Pratyay Maitra
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Japan’s shocking defeat against Costa Rica handed Germany a lifeline ahead of the final Group E encounter on Thursday night. Niclas Füllkrug’s late equalizer versus Spain kept their knockout hopes alive and the DFB-Elf must beat Costa Rica now to avoid an upset in the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Meanwhile, Hansi Flick’s men need a favour from Spain who would lock horns with the Samurai Blue. The four-time champions were left stunned by Japan in the opening encounter and the fear of an untimely exit is still looming large, particularly after a group-stage egress four and a half years ago following a defeat against South Korea.

Predicted 4-2-3-1 Germany Lineup To Face Costa Rica

Defence

Manuel Neuer should have done better to stop Takuma Asano’s winner, but the 36-year-old veteran bounced back against La Furia Roja exhibiting his excellence as a sweeper-keeper. The iconic Bayern Munich custodian must aim for a clean sheet this time as his side should also focus on improving their goal difference along with a commanding win.

Manuel Neuer
Manuel Neuer

Niklas Sule and Antonio Rudiger are expected to retain their roles in the heart of the backline. There is no place for complacency though given the inspiring comeback from the Central Americans despite a 7-0 humiliation against Spain. Thilo Kehrer must offer more attacking threats from the right, however, it’s the other way around for left-back David Raum who is exquisite with his overlapping runs but vulnerable at times in the defensive third.

Midfield

Versatile Joshua Kimmich began his career as a right fullback. But he has been converted into a deep-lying playmaker for his vision and composure in the middle of the park. Leon Goretzka, his Bayern Munich teammate, is likely to form a ‘double pivot’ in the 4-2-3-1 setup.

Germany have ample wide attacking options in their World Cup squad. 19-year-old Jamal Musiala is an assured starter for his majestic display from the left-hand flank, whereas Leroy Sane could get the nod down the right with Serge Gnabry struggling to replicate his Bayern form. Thomas Muller did not look comfortable as a ‘False 9’ and the gaffer should restore him to the attacking midfield spot for his enormous experience and creative spark. Ilkay Gundogan and Kai Havertz should be involved at some stage as ‘super subs’.

Attack

Füllkrug was a surprise inclusion who only made his international debut in a friendly tie against Oman earlier this month. The 29-year-old Werder Bremen hitman shunted up the pecking order when Timo Werner sustained an injury prior to the tournament and is now in contention to spearhead the attack against Los Ticos after firing in a crucial goal on Monday night.

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