Germany will look to book their place in the next round of the FIFA World Cup when they face Costa Rica on Thursday.
Venue: Al Bayt Stadium (Al Khor)
Costa Rica have lost just once in their last seven games (W5, D1).
They have kept ten clean sheets in their last 20 matches.
Germany have won just two of their last ten games (D6, L2).
Since their 1-0 World Cup final win in 2014, Germany hasn’t kept a clean sheet in their next five World Cup matches.
Germany’s Manuel Neuer is in line for his 19th World Cup appearance, which would make him the goalkeeper to be featured in the most World Cup games.
World Cup trivia: Germany’s 1998 starting lineup against Iran was the oldest ever fielded at a World Cup, with an average age of 31 years and 345 days.
Head to head
Germany beat Costa Rica 4-2 in their only-ever meeting in the 2006 World Cup.
Latest performances in all competitions
Costa Rica: W-L-W-W-D
After becoming the laughing stock of the World Cup when they lost 7-0 to Spain, Costa Rica picked themselves back up and earned themselves a surprise 1-0 win over Japan in the second group game.
The result blew World Cup Group E wide open and left coach Luis Fernando Suárez insisting his side can still “dream”.
That win leaves Los Ticos’ qualification task relatively straightforward, as they now need a victory in their final group game to ensure progression. However, the sight of four-time World Cup winners Germany standing in their way might muddy the waters as the South American side lost to Germany 4-2 in their first and only meeting to date.
They may not need to win, though, as a draw could well be enough to qualify. However, a poor goal difference brought about by their 7-0 hammering by Spain in their opening group game means they would need Luis Enrique’s side to beat Japan too.
Possible Costa Rica starting lineup
Keylor Navas, Keysher Fuller, Daniel Chacón, Oscar Duarte, Kendall Waston, Bryan Oviedo, Gerson Torres, Celso Borges, Yeltsin Ignacio Tejeda, Joel Campbell, Anthony Contreras.
For Germany, this game will be about ensuring that the lightning does not strike twice in the space of four years.
The 2014 World Cup winners endured a terrible campaign in the 2018 World Cup edition, finishing their group in Russia. After two rounds of games, they sit in the bottom place, having lost their opening game to Japan (2-1) before snatching a narrow 1-1 draw against Spain last time out.
That draw against Spain doesn’t tell the game’s full story, though, as Hansi Flick’s men broke all kinds of unwanted records, with their 35.8% possession ranking as their lowest ever in a World Cup game since 1966.
Given that they are without a win after two World Cup group games for the first time, successive bottom-place World Cup group finishes are now a distinct possibility.
But having snatched something from their game against Spain, Flick’s men will be confident of getting something from this game and usurping their opponents in the Group E standings.
Possible Germany starting lineup
Manuel Neuer, Thilo Kehrer, Niklas Süle, Antonio Rüdiger, David Raum, Joshua Kimmich, Ilkay Gündogan, Leroy Sane, Thomas Müller, Jamal Musiala, Niclas Füllkrug.
|Costa Rica to win||Draw||Germany to win|
Costa Rica 1-3 Germany
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