Despite leaving their biggest stars at home, Joachim Low’s men remain on track to make another tournament final at the Confederations Cup
Germany take on Mexico on Thursday for a place in the Confederations Cup final in Russia.
Joachim Low has left many of his big stars at home this summer, naming an experimental squad, but that did not stop his team rolling through the group stage with seven points.
They will be the favourites to advance to the final when they take on Mexico, who amassed seven points themselves but finished behind Portugal in Group A on goal difference.
Having netted two goals in each of their three games, though, the Mexicans promise to test a German defence that is yet to keep a clean sheet.
|Game||Germany vs Mexico|
|Date||Thursday, June 29|
|Time||19:00 BST, 14:00 ET|
TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM
In the UK, the match will be available to watch live and for free both on television on ITV and by stream via ITV Player.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
In the US, the match will be available to watch live on television on FS2 and by stream via Fox Sports Go. It can also be watched in Spanish on Telemundo.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|FS2 / Telemundo||Fox Sports Go|
SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
|Goalkeepers||Trapp, Leno, Ter Stegen|
|Defenders||Mustafi, Hector, Ginter, Plattenhardt, Henrichs, Rudiger, Sule, Kimmich|
|Midfielders||Draxler, Goretzka, Demirbay, Can, Younes, Brandt, Rudy|
|Forwards||Wagner, Werner, Stindl|
Timo Werner scored twice in the final group game against Cameroon, so Joachim Low will have to pick between the RB Leipzig striker and Lars Stindl, who netted in each of the first two games.
Low lost Leroy Sane and Diego Demme to injury before the tournament and chose not to replace them, so he has 21 players at his disposal.
Potential starting XI: Ter Stegen; Ginter, Rudiger, Sule; Kimmich, Can, Rudy, Hector; Goretzka, Stindl, Draxler.
|Goalkeepers||Cota, Talavera, Ochoa|
|Defenders||Araujo, Marquez, Diego Reyes, Layun, Moreno, Luis Reyes|
|Midfielders||Jonathan dos Santos, Fabian, Giovani dos Santos, Herrera, Damm, Aquino, Alanis|
|Forwards||Jimenez, Vela, Hernandez, Peralta, Lozano|
Andres Guardado is suspended after picking up two yellow cards and Carlos Salcedo has been ruled out for the rest of the tournament with a shoulder injury.
Mexico also have concerns over Diego Reyes and Javier Hernandez, who have not trained fully, and Hector Moreno, who has been battling a muscle problem.
Potential starting XI: Ochoa; Luis Reyes, Araujo, Moreno, Layun; Jonathan dos Santos, Herrera, Fabian; Lozano, Jimenez, Vela.
BETTING & GAME ODDS
Germany are 11/10 favourites to win the semi-final, according to Oddschecker, with Mexico priced at 5/2 and the draw through 90 minutes available at 27/10.
Lars Stindl and Timo Werner are joint favourites to score first at 5/1, with Oribe Peralta the 15/2 top choice for Mexico.
This tournament may not be a major priority for Germany, as is evidenced by their squad selection, but it has been a useful exercise for Joachim Low.
Rather than forcing his big-name stars to log yet more minutes after a long club season, Low has taken the opportunity to put some of the younger players in the German pool under the spotlight.
It probably seems less daunting for Lars Stindl and Timo Werner to lead the line for this team rather than one which features the likes of Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller behind them, which gives those two possible solutions to Germany’s striker problem a chance to grow into the international game.
And while Low is overwhelmed with top midfielders and also has an excellent group of centre-backs and goalkeepers, he has also been able to take a look at Joshua Kimmich and Jonas Hector in key roles as he looks to fill holes at right and left-back.
What this Germany team has not been able to do that they will need to at next summer’s World Cup is keep a clean sheet.
There is a decent chance they could be upset if their defensive solidity does not improve against Mexico, who netted twice against a Portugal side that did not concede in its other two games.
Even if Javier Hernandez is not fit enough to start, Juan Carlos Osorio has a wealth of forward options hoping to fire their nation to the final.