2014 World Cup: Germany Will Rely On Midfield After The Final Roster Cuts
As expected, Germany are only taking one striker to Brazil in search of a World Cup title. Unexpectedly, there are some issues in the back line which now will require players to show their versatility. Coach Joachim Low will rely on a false nine and his creative midfielders to create chances and dictate matches.
Potential record-setting striker Miroslav Klose is the only forward going to Brazil for Germany after Kevin Volland was cut on Monday. Klose needs two goals to set a new World Cup goal record, but may struggle to gain playing time. Klose will have to hope that Germany gets at least a two-goal lead so he can be subbed in during the second half to find a goal.
The back four will have at least one player who is used to playing center-back out on the left after Marcel Schmelzer was cut from the final roster. Schmelzer has been battling a lingering knee injury that opened the door for his Dortmund teammate, Erik Durm, to make the roster after just getting his senior team debut last week. Durm started in a 2-2 draw against Cameroon.
Even with Durm playing left-back for Dortmund, it is unclear if Low will have enough faith in him to start in Brazil. Benedikt Howedes was subbed on for Durm early in the second half of the Cameroon match. Jerome Boateng is another player who could shift to the left, and this all depends on the health of Philipp Lahm. Kevin Grosskreutz is another option. The back line is still shifting.
Defender Shkodran Mustafi was the last player cut to finalize the 23-man roster. The clear message sent by Low is that the midfield will be the key to this team. That midfield may still have enough talent to take them far in the World Cup. Here is the full list of players on the final roster.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer, Roman Weidenfeller, Ron-Robert Zieler
Defenders: Jerome Boateng, Kevin Grosskreutz, Erik Durm, Benedikt Howedes, Mats Hummels, Per Mertesacker, Philipp Lahm
Midfielders: Julian Draxler, Matthias Ginter, Mario Gotze, Christoph Kramer, Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski, Marco Reus, Andre Schürrle, Bastian Schweinsteiger
Forward: Miroslav Klose