After Germany’s 1-0 win over Ghana, injuries to key players Mesut Ozil, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Jerome Boateng emerged as the big story. Without these players, Germany’s chances of advancing to the quarter-finals over England will dramatically dwindle.
Mesut Ozil has been in sensational form for Germany so far during this tournament, with his creativity being absolutely vital to Germany going forward. His through-passing and movement just behind the central striker has caused total mayhem in Germany’s opponents’ defenses. Without him, it is likely that Piotr Trochowski will step in and try to fit the role. Trochowski, although maybe not at the level that Mesut Ozil is on, will be able to fill that role in quite well. While he doesn’t score very many, his creativity will be vital in the place of Ozil, should he be definitely ruled out.
Bastian Schweinsteiger, who in 2006 was played down the right side, has been converted into a dominating central midfielder with Bayern Munich and with Germany as well. After injuries to Michael Ballack, Simon Rolfes and Christian Traesch, there is no cover in Schweinsteiger’s position in Germany’s squad. It is likely that Toni Kroos, who is only 20 years old, will come into the side and play in Schweinsteiger’s position. Kroos, though, is an attacking midfielder naturally. He will most likely not be able to fill Schweinsteiger’s box-to-box boots, which is very bad news for Germany. Without Schweinsteiger playing beside Khedira, it will be very hard for Germany to contain the creativity of Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry in the center of midfield.
Jerome Boateng’s injury is far less a blow than Schweinsteiger’s. Holger Badstuber will most likely come back into the side, or Marcell Jannsen will slot in at left-back. Still, losing players at the back where Germany are already light after a key injury to Heiko Westermann is still bad news.
While all three players have not been totally ruled out, if they do miss the game then Germany will definitely have it all to do against England on Sunday.
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