Line-up and information about the World Cup
Dhen December has just begun, it could all be over for the German national soccer team. This Thursday (20.00 CET in FAZ live ticker for the World Cup, on ARD and on MagentaTV) she meets Costa Rica in the last game of the group stage at al-Bayt Stadium in al-Khor. Anything but a win means going home. Hansi Flick initially continues to do without Niclas Füllkrug and offers Joshua Kimmich as a right-back. Thomas Müller starts again in the position of center forward. The only new player in the starting eleven is Leroy Sané, who replaces Thilo Kehrer.
Kimmich takes for the first time in the tenure of national coach flick Kehrer’s position at right-back. In the back four in front of Manuel Neuer, who sets a goalkeeper record with his 19th World Cup game, there are also Niklas Süle, defender Antonio Rüdiger and David Raum on the left. Ilkay Gündogan and Leon Goretzka form the double six in Flick’s usual 4-2-3-1 system. Behind miller the outside Serge Gnabry and Sané should cause a stir, Jamal Musiala moves to the headquarters.
Who gets ahead and when?
In biathlon, the question was once: Where is Behle? At the World Cup, Christian Kamp presents another: Where is Götze? The goalscorer for victory in the 2014 World Cup final had not been called up to the national team for five years. Thanks to his strong performances in Frankfurt, however, he secured the ticket for Qatar. But he was only allowed to play a few minutes against Japan. Why?
The French referee Stéphanie Frappart will referee the German game. It shouldn’t be anything special, she says. And yet it is. She is the first referee who will not only be on the sidelines, where the three women who have been nominated have stood, but on the pitch at a men’s World Cup. Stefanie Sippel comments. And Daniel Theweleit describes her role in “Team One”.
As with the strange constellation the night before between Mexico and Poland in a long-distance duel, when at times even the fair play rating was possible as a criterion for progress, it is worth taking a look at the rules of the world association. What counts for which results? Michael Wittershagen wrote down what has to happen for Germany to reach the round of 16.
The one who wants to prevent German goals is Keylor Navas. The goalkeeper is the most famous player of Costa Rica. He has won many titles in his career – and had to take many detours to reach his goal. Once under contract with Real Madrid, he is now with Paris St. Germain. Sebastian Stier writes about a special World Cup opponent.
What happens in the parallel game between Japan and Spain is also important for Germany’s progress. For the Iberians, eyes are on Alvaro Morata, who scored against Germany on Sunday. And now? Tall, strong build: Morata is the type of striker that the Spaniards otherwise lack. He used to receive death threats, now he scores important goals for his country, writes Sebastian Stier.
And how does the potential “endgame” end for the Germans? The World Cup forecast by Daniel Memmert and Fabian Wunderlich calculates all games based on data from the betting market and calculates the probability of victory. So much can be revealed: It looks quite good for Germany against Costa Rica. But even with the World Cup, which produces so many side stories, the truth is in football on the pitch.