Australia and Germany will go head-to-head in Group B of the FIFA Confederations Cup as either side will be looking to open their account with a win.
In what is arguably the more stacked group of the two in the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017, Australia and Germany will be both looking to get going with a win in their first game of the group stage, with Chile and Cameroon – both strong footballing nations – also in the group.
Joachim Loew has called up a somewhat second-string youthful squad for the competition, with a view of handing these inexperienced stars some quality top-tier event experience under their belt. Despite the relatively weaker squad though, Germany would be intent on making a run in the competition.
Australia have an opportunity to use the competition to prepare for the upcoming crunch 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Japan and Thailand, which will decide the Socceroos’ participation in the latest iteration of the World Cup to be held in Russia.
We take a closer look at the fixture.
Team News & Tactics
Ange Postecoglou has already been handed the first blow of the event, with Mile Jedinak ruled out of the event. The absence of Jedinak will put more pressure on the shoulders of Aaron Mooy, who has impressed in his debut season in England at loan to Huddersfield Town.
Mathew Ryan, the latest arrival in the Premier League, is likely to command the goal for the Socceroos and will have his work cut out with a relatively inexperienced back three expected to be in front of the former Valencia stopper. Ryan McGowan will be the most experienced defender and will be entasked with keeping his understudies in check.
Robbie Kruse will hope to impress and land a contract somewhere, with the former Bayer Leverkusen star currently unattached while he will be partnered by Tom Rogic, who has earned rave reviews for his performances at Celtic.
Tim Cahill is present in the squad but is unlikely be handed a start by Postecoglou, with the choice likely to be between Mathew Leckie and Tom Juric to spearhead the attack on Monday.
Postecoglou is likely to set up his team to absorb the pressure to be exerted by the German eleven and will look to break on the counter, with Aaron Mooy to be handed a quarterback role in the side.
Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Ryan; McGowan, Sainsbury, Degenek; Leckies, Mooy, Luongo, Troisi; Rogic, Kruse; Juric
Joachim Loew is likely to take up the opportunity as a test to analyse how the players can adapt to the big stage and perhaps a portion of the players may become a regular fixture in the long run ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The World Cup winning boss is likely to stick with 3 at the back, with a 3-4-1-2 formation the most probable way the Germans will line up on Monday. Antonio Rudiger and Shkodran Mustafi are almost guaranteed starters at the back, with the last spot going to either of Niklas Sule or Matthias Ginter.
Jonas Hector and Joshua Kimmich will in all likeliness be donning the two wide areas, with Emre Can set to partner either of Leon Goretzka or Sebastian Rudy in the middle of the park.
Julian Draxler has been deployed in a number 10 role and is likely to continue to be the lone man behind the two strikers. Sandro Wagner’s form makes him a guaranteed starter upfront and it is likely to come down between Timo Werner and Lars Stindl for the final spot.
Timo Werner has been stunning in Bundesliga this season but might just be edged out by Lars Stindl in the starting lineup against Australia, if Loew opts to go for a more experienced head to partner Wagner. Germany will look to boss possession and slowly break down the brittle Australian defence.
Probable Lineup (3-4-1-2): Ter Stegen; Ginter, Mustafi, Rudiger; Kimmich, Goretzka, Can, Hector; Draxler; Wagner, Werner
1. Australia have lost just one of their last 9 matches – the loss coming in a recent 4-0 thumping by Brazil.
2. Tim Cahill is just 2 goals shy of reaching the 50-goals mark at international level for the Socceroos.
3. Germany are undefeated in their last 10 international matches, with 8 wins and 2 draws to their name.
4. Australia have matched up to Germany in the last two matches, both being friendlies, with the Socceroos unbeaten, winning one and drawing the other. However, Germany have won the last two competitive games between the two sides.
5. There have been at least 3 goals in the last 4 meetings between the two sides.
Player to Watch
The Liverpool utility-man has been heavily linked with a move to Juventus while there are reports of talks being underway between the Reds and Can over an improved contract. The player is yet to establish himself firmly in the first-team setup at Anfield.
However, Can has been recently hailed by his German teammates and a good tournament can go a long way to ensuring that the player is in the best possible space in term of form going into the next season, be it at Juventus or Liverpool.
Australia 0 – 3 Germany
Germany are expected to make quick work of the Socceroos, despite a relatively second-string squad. The presence of talented players like Shkodran Mustafi and Antonio Rudiger in defence is likely to ensure a clean sheet at the back while Julian Draxler & co. will be incharge of the attacking duties.