Germany vs. Sweden; FIFA World Cup Group F probable line-ups, match stats and LIVE build-up
Germany are out to bounce back immediately from their opening FIFA World Cup defeat to Mexico when they face Sweden in the second game of Group F at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi on Saturday (kick-off: 8pm CEST/7pm BST/2pm ET).
Die Mannschaft’s title defence got off to a stuttering start with the 1-0 loss to Mexico in Moscow, and the world champions will need three points in this match if they’re to avoid a first group stage elimination in their history. Joachim Löw is not expected to make sweeping changes following the defeat, although Sami Khedira looks likely to be dropped from midfield. Cologne’s Jonas Hector missed the Mexico game through illness, but should come in for Hertha Berlin’s Marvin Plattenhardt. Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus came off the bench for his World Cup debut in Moscow, and may have to do the same for his second appearance in Sochi.
There is some Bundesliga flair to the Sweden squad with Werder Bremen’s Ludwig Augustinsson, Hamburg’s Albin Ekdal and RB Leipzig’s Emil Forsberg all expected to feature for Janne Andersson’s side. They famously qualified for this tournament by beating four-time world champions Italy in the play-offs, but no member of this Sweden squad has ever been to a World Cup before. Since the retirement of all-time top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the title of the team’s leading goalscorer falls to 31-year-old Marcus Berg with just 18 international strikes.
Watch: Manuel Neuer’s top 5 saves
Germany: Neuer (c) – Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Hector – Kroos, Gündogan – Müller, Özil, Draxler – Werner
Coach: Joachim Löw
Sweden: Olsen – Lustig, Granqvist (c), Lindelof, Augustinsson – Claesson, Larsson, Ekdal, Forsberg – Berg, Toivonen
Coach: Janne Andersson
*Bundesliga players in bold
- This is Germany’s 19th World Cup and they have reached at least the quarter-finals in each of the past nine editions, making it to at least the semi-finals at every competition since 2002.
- Bayern Munich forward Thomas Müller has 10 World Cup goals to his name, the most of any active player.
- Germany’s only World Cup loss to Sweden in four meetings came in 1958 when the Swedes hosted the tournament.
- The sides last met in 2014 World Cup qualifying, with 16 goals being scored across the two matches.
- Sweden are at their first World Cup since 2006 in Germany. Their best finish second place as hosts in 1958.
- Only once before has a team lost its opening match and gone on to win the World Cup (Spain in 2010).