By William Hill
Last Updated: 23rd June 2018
The Germany vs Sweden line-ups have been confirmed and Joachim Low has made huge changes in response to his side’s shock 1-0 defeat to Mexico.
Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil, who were integral players for Low at both the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, have been sacrificed as Germany bid to get their trophy defence back on track.
Sebastian Rudy and Marco Reus have been selected in their place, while Jonas Hector takes over from Marvin Plattenhardt at left back and Antonio Rudiger covers for the injured Mats Hummels at centre back.
Reus ended the club campaign in fine form for Borussia Dortmund, scoring four goals in his final four appearances, but hasn’t struck for his country since March 2015, a stat that of course owes a lot to injuries.
The last three World Cup winners from Europe were eliminated in the group stage four years later, with Marcello Lippi (Italy) and Vicente del Bosque (Spain) both criticised for staying too loyal to their champions.
Having spent 12 years in the role, Low has more experience of refreshing his squad and, based on these decisions, more ruthlessness too.
Sweden have made just one change to the team that beat South Korea 1-0, introducing Manchester United centre back Victor Lindelof alongside match-winning skipper Andreas Granqvist.
Janne Andersson’s men, who eliminated Italy in the play-offs, will progress to the knockout rounds at Germany’s expense if they triumph. They’re 11/2 outsiders to do precisely that.
Germany vs Sweden line-ups
Germany – Neuer; Hector, Boateng, Rudiger, Kimmich; Rudy, Kroos; Draxler, Reus, Muller; Werner
Sweden – Olsen; Lustig, Lindelof, Granqvist, Augustinsson; Forsberg, Ekdal, Larsson, Claesson; Toivonen, Berg