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International Friendly Preview: Germany Versus Sweden

Dortmund Boys Schmelzer And Hummels Will Look To Make The Right Impression.

Despite it being a midweek friendly that many will immediately dismiss, I’m excited about this game. Sweden have picked a strong squad, and Germany are always determined and competitive. Also, this game gives Joachim Loew a chance to see which of Germany’s younger stars will be able to make the step up to the international level. Mario Gotze, Marcel Schmelzer, Andre Schuerrle and Lewis Holtby are all set to win their first caps, and it’s going to be interesting to see where Joachim Loew sees them all fitting into his tactical setup. Will Holtby find himself competing with Thomas Mueller for a spot on the right wing? Will Mario Gotze challenge Mesut Ozil for his spot in the side? All remains to be seen. It’s at least some kind of gauge as to the (positive) direction Germany are heading in. The future looks bright.

Germany will setup as usual, with Joachim Loew making substitutions on the fly as players tire. The German head coach has announced that any player who does not start will come on, so everyone will get a chance to play. Here’s what Loew will probably start with:

Neuer – Beck, Westermann, Mertesacker, Boateng – Khedira, Schweinsteiger – Marin, Kroos, Holtby – Gomez

Since Thomas Mueller, Mesut Ozil, Philipp Lahm, Arne Friedrich, Sascha Riether and Lukas Podolski are all set to miss out, Loew will have to field some of the German national team’s fringe players, who will relish the chance to shine under very little pressure. Big things will be expected from Marko Marin and Toni Kroos, who are around that age where becoming a regular national team player is a priority.

Sweden head coach Erik Hamren has picked a side with a good mix between experience and youth. HSV’s on-loan star Marcus Berg will be given the chance to shine alongside Ola Toivonen, who has been great form with PSV this season. In midfield, Sweden are quite combative with the likes of Sebastien Larsson, Rasmus Elm and Pontus Wernbloom in there. The creative force will be Lyon’s Kim Kallstrom, who will need to be watched closely by Sami Khedira. In defense, Sweden are pretty thin. Andreas Granqvist and Daniel Majstorovic will be the center-half pairing, but other than that they’ve got very little. A quick turn of pace or a slick bit of passing will likely rip this defense to bits, so there should be goals here.

Isaksson – Wendt, Majstorovic, Granqvist, Lustig – Kallstrom, Wernbloom, Elm, Larsson – Toivonen – Berg

Their 4-4-1-1 formation will be compact and defensive, but down the flanks they’ve got a bit of technique and up top they’re dangerous. Still, Germany should breeze past their northern opponents and record a comfortable win. Hopefully some of Germany’s debutants can grab a goal too!

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  1. Diriye

    November 21, 2010 at 3:25 am

    Dylan certainly the future looks bright. There is going to be so many combination and mixture of talent that makes Loew’s team envy of the world. You have Gotze, Schuer­rle and Holtby each bringing their own brand of football. Then you have two very important players that haven’t been capped yet: Dortmund’s Sven Bender and Leverkusen’s Sidney Sam.

    Of all the young people coming to the national team Sidney Sam brings the most badly needed skill. A true winger with speed, twists and turns. He plays a lot like Bercelona’s Pedro but with better work ethic and strength. Barring an injury I would be surprised if Sidney Sam doesn’t book his spot for Brazil if not before.

    Also let’s hope these young players will have quiet time minus the pressure to develop their football like Mesut did before the World Cup. Certainly the pressure of the media will be on though.

    I was reading another discussion comparing young Bundesliga players like Nuri Sahin Gotze, and Holtby to Mesut which I thought was not fair. Each of these players have great vision and awareness of the field that is amazing considering their age but Mesut’s reading and anticipation of the game is on different planet. Sometimes you wonder if he can see what will happen before they happen, like pyschic. We saw it at the world Cup and he is doing it in La Liga.

    His assist for Ronaldo’s second goal in Madrid game today just proves my point. It seemed as though he knew Ronaldo was going to be there that particular spot in that particular time right when the defender left it and he delivered it to the awe-stricken Ronaldo.

    Check out at 1:50

  2. Gabriela

    November 17, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Turned out to be kind of a messy bore.

    • Dylan Thomas

      November 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm

      Disappointing, yeah. I’ll have an article up some time tonight.

    • K.B.

      November 18, 2010 at 1:09 am

      Thanks to Sweden and their utterly rigid style of defense.

      It seems Sweden was playing for the tie from minute 1. Disappointing.

      • Gabriela

        November 18, 2010 at 1:15 am

        I can’t count how many people were genuinely irritated by the Swede’s.

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