Against Netherlands, Die Mannschaft are up against a far more lethal side than Portugal, and need to step up to their usual levels to be counted as a force....The Germans came back with all 3 points from a tricky encounter against Portugal, however amongst the Die Mannschaft faithful, there was this feeling of dissatisfaction, as for all their possession, Joachim Low’s side was uncharacteristically slow and static, lacking the fluidity that has become the hallmarks of this exciting, young German side.
While Low got the major selections in his defense spot on, with Jerome Boateng keeping a tight leash around Cristiano Ronaldo and Mats Hummels finally showing some of his club form on the International stage, in the attacking areas, he has far more to ponder.
The German game is completely built around the movement of Mesut Ozil, and the two wide forwards – generally Lukas Podolski and Thomas Muller, behind the centre forward, who is expected to be more of a poacher and a focal point in attack.
However with neither Podolski and Muller having a good game against Portugal, the general gameplay of the Die Mannschaft suffered, leaving Low with plenty to ponder over, as he has to now decide, whether to drop either or both the duo for more in-form players.
|Time For Podolski To Join Klose On the Bench?...|
Germany have an amazing squad depth, especially in the attacking areas, where Marco Reus, Mario Gotze and Andre Schurrle, are all talented young players, waiting for their big opportunity, to establish themselves in the team.
While Gotze prefers playing more centrally, Andre Schurrle and Reus are the most likely replacements for Muller and Podolski. The new Borussia Dortmund winger had a breakthrough season last year, leading Borussia Monchengladbach’s charge towards the Champions League spots, and showed a real eye for goal, as well as setting up several chances for team-mates. Reus scored 18 goals in 32 Bundesliga games this season with over a 105 shots with close to 50% of them being on target!
|Germany Stats v Portugal
|TOTAL SHOTS: 11|
|SHOTS ON TARGET: 3|
|SHOT ACCURACY: 33.3%|
Both these players bring the movement, eye for goal and passing abilities that complement the skills of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mesut Ozil, and would definitely make Germany play in a style the fans are more used to watching.
While they did get away against Portugal, enjoying a few good slices of luck, against Netherlands, who have their backs to the wall and are staring at elimination, any lapse in concentration will definitely be punished, with the likes of Arjen Robben, Ibrahim Afellay and Robin Van Persie, all looking to redeem themselves after the fiasco against Denmark.
There are also doubts on the fitness of Schweinsteiger. However in Toni Kroos, they have a player who can take over the playmaking duties from his Bayern Munich teammate and accomplish them with distinction.
So while the clash against the Dutch is not a do or die battle for the Germans, Low will hope to get his side playing the kind of fluid, attacking football that marks them out as one of the most dangerous sides in the competition, and in the process, hope to eliminate one of their biggest rivals from the tournament.
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