World Cup champions in danger

Ruben Hill
June 23, 2018

World Cup holders Germany will have to show a much-improved performance in their second Group F match against Sweden to avoid a humiliating early flight home from Russian Federation for Joachim Low's men. Chelsea's Antonio Ruediger would be the likely replacement for Hummels alongside Jerome Boateng in the heart of the German defence.

Joachim Loew's defending champions slumped to a 1-0 defeat against Mexico in their opening Group F match, paying the price for a calamitous first half in a performance that drew stinging criticism.

"Everyone is ready to fight for their lives", said forward Timo Werner, who is again set to lead the Germany attack.

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Sweden was also in a 1-0 contest to open its World Cup, but it ended up on the victorious side against South Korea thanks to a VAR-aided penalty.

Sweden, meanwhile, will have Victor Lindelof available for selection after recovering from a virus, with just Isaac Kiese Thelin ruled out of the game with an ankle injury. Overall, we had our chances, but we weren't able to score.

"The World Cup does not respect generations, the World Cup doesn't respect individual names, it only respects winning teams", Martinez said.

That match is Saturday in Rostov-on-Don, a port city about 600 miles south of Moscow.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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