Defending champions Germany eye win against Mexico

Defending champions Germany eye win against Mexico
Germany's team reacts after the international friendly soccer match between Germany and Saudi Arabia in Leverkusen, Germany

by Austin Ditlhobolo

Sunday Jun 17, 2018. 16:30

Germany will square off with Mexico in their maiden 2018 FIFA World Cup Group F match at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 17h00 CAT.

Die Mannschaft are one of the most successful national teams in international competitions, having won a total of four World Cups in 1954, 1974, 1990 and 2014.

The defending World Cup champions have also clinched three European Championships in 1972, 1980 and 1996. They also won one Confederations Cup in 2017.

Thomas Muller, who has netted 38 goals in 91 matches for Die Mannschaft, is a key player. The Bayern Munich forward will be hoping to inspire his nation to victory against Mexico.

Germany head coach Joachim Low knows what to expect from Mexico and he believes that his charges can overcome the Central American side.

“Mexico is a fast and technically solid opponent. They will demand everything of us, but we will find the appropriate solutions. I’m optimistic that we’ll present ourselves well -- the team will step up this week,” Low said.

“Everything is focused on Sunday. Julian Draxler and Sami Khedira had to interrupt the session briefly, but they are not injured.

“We had some problems with the pitch, which could be cut a few millimeters shorter to minimize the risk of injury.”

Meanwhile, Mexico will make their seventh appearance in the World Cup finals having reached the Round of 16 of the last six tournaments.

The Tricolor along with Brazil and Germany, are the only nations to make it out of the group stage over the last six World Cups.

Their star player is Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández, who plies his trade in England for West Ham United. The experienced striker will be keen to play an important role in helping his nation win against Germany.

Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio has made it clear that they will play attacking football against the World Cup champions in order to start their group stage campaign with a win.

“We’re going to try and play and attack against anybody, regardless of how big a team they are, and try to win games by playing without fear," Osorio told Goal.

"In the past (for Mexico in World Cups) I think the idea was to not concede goals and see what happens at the end.

“That’s fair, and fine, but this time around we will try to be more offensive-minded and more driven towards winning games rather than just waiting until the end and seeing what happens."

Iranian referee Alireza Faghani will officiate the game between Germany and Mexico.

In head-to-head stats, according to FIFA.com, Germany and Mexico have clashed on 11 occasions.

Germany have recorded five wins compared to Mexico’s one win, while five games ended in a draw.



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