FIFA World Cup: Germany vs Sweden preview
2014 World Cup champions Germany got off to a poor start as they lost their opener 0-1 to Mexico. They will be looking to bounce back when they take on Sweden. Germany have not lost back-to-back matches in the same World Cup since 1958. Here is all you need to know about this must-win fixture for the defending champions.
Germany haven't lost to Sweden in 40 years
Sweden are high on confidence after they beat South Korea in their opening game and a victory against the Germans would confirm a place in the last 16. However, they haven't beaten Germany in their last 11 attempts. In these 11 encounters, Sweden have lost 6 and drawn 5. The Scandinavians last defeated Germany, almost 40 years ago, in April 1978.
Injured Hummels to miss out on this fixture
Germany will be without the services of centre-back Mats Hummels, who is nursing a neck injury sustained during training. Antonio Rudiger is likely to replace Hummels in the heart of the defense. Germany coach Joachim Low has confirmed that Mario Gomez is likely to start against Sweden. However, he is not sure if Gomez will partner Werner or operate alone.
Sweden boosted by Lindelof's return
Sweden have no fresh injury concerns. Further, they will be boosted by the return of Victor Lindelof who missed the opening game against South Korea due to an illness. Isaac Kiese Thelin will miss out due to his ankle problem, while Pontus Jansson, Filip Helander and Marcus Rohden, who were down due to a stomach bug, should be fit to play.
Thomas Muller needs to find his mojo
Notably, Thomas Muller has scored 10 goals from just 14 shots on target at the World Cup. However, Muller did not register a single shot on target in the opener. It gets even more worrisome that he hasn't had a shot on target in his last 239 minutes of World Cup football. If Germany have to register a win, Muller needs to fire tonight.
Sweden: Probable starting XI
Robin Olsen, Mikael Lustig, Viktor Lindelof, Andreas Granqvist, Ludwig Augustinsson, Viktor Claesson, Sebastian Larsson, Albin Ekdal, Emil Forsberg, Marcus Berg and Ola Toivonen.