Germany will look to formally qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, when they take on Northern Ireland on Thursday.
Die Mannschaft sit atop their group in the qualifiers and need 2 points to seal their place in the mega event, while even one point will also suffice given their superior goal difference. After winning the Confederations Cup with a second-string squad, Joachim Low’s side defeated Czech Republic 2-1 before thumping Norway 6-0 last month, to extend their perfect record in Group C. The manager will be hoping that his side do the job on Thursday.
Striker Timo Werner pulled out of the squad, after he suffered from breathing and circulation problems in his club’s Champions League game last week. Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira haven’t been called up, along with No.1 keeper Manuel Neuer who is out of action until January.
With Neuer ruled out for the foreseeable future, the Barcelona shot-stopper has been installed as the No.1 for Low’s side. Will start in goal.
The highly-rated youngster is the first-choice right-back for the Germans. Solid at the back, effective going forward, he will have a huge role to play for the team in the coming years.
The Bayern Munich man has been recalled for the upcoming qualifiers and should line up in the heart of the defence, ahead of Antonio Rudiger and Niklas Sule.
Partnering Boateng at the centre of the backline should be club teammate Mats Hummels. Has been a constant feature for Germany and that is unlikely to change.
With Jonas Hector unavailable due to injury, Hertha Berlin’s Marvin Plattenhardt should get a look-in at left-back against Northern Ireland.
The Real Madrid midfield mainstay is another permanent fixture for Die Mannschaft and is set to start once again, on Thursday.
The Bayern Munich man has been impressive despite his club’s poor run in recent weeks. Should partner Kroos in the middle of the park.
The Paris Saint-Germain attacker who led the Germans to the FIFA Confederations Cup triumph in the summer should start on the right flank against Martin O’Neill’s side.
Low’s favourite, Muller may not be performing at his best for Bayern, but the manager trusts him and will back him to come good on Thursday.
The Manchester City sensation has been in brilliant form coming into the international break. Will look to impress the manager.
With Timo Werner withdrawing from the squad, there is a chance that TSG Hoffenheim’s Sandro Wagner might get the nod at the top. The 29-year old has scored 4 times in 9 games in all competitions for his club this season.
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