Die Manschaft get the defense of the title underway against Mexico at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday (kick-off: 5pm CEST/4pm BST/11am ET)
Manuel Neuer broke his foot twice in the 2017/18 campaign and was restricted to just three Bundesliga appearances – each of them clean sheets – as the record champions sealed their 28th German top-flight title.
Having played a combined 135 minutes in Die Mannschaft’s recent friendlies with Austria and Saudi Arabia, the 32-year-old will lead his team out against Mexico with Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen acting as first understudy. Leroy Sane was perhaps the most surprising omission when coach Joachim Löw announced his final 23-man squad for the tournament, but with Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus – like Neuer – back to his best, the Manchester City winger’s absence could well prove to be negligible.
If Germany were impressive in winning all 10 of their games in UEFA qualifying section, Mexico were not far behind. El Tri only lost one of their 12 games in the CONCACAF zone – their final one, against Honduras, when qualification was already assured. In Fabian and Carlos Salcedo, Mexico boast two players who lifted the DFB Cup with Eintracht Frankfurt, at Bayern’s expense, in May. The pair are expected to start, with former Bayer Leverkusen favourite Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez leading the line.
Germany: Neuer (c) – Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Hector – Kroos, Khedira – Müller, Özil, Reus – Werner
Subs: ter Stegen, Ginter, Plattenhardt, Rüdiger, Süle, Brandt, Draxler, Goretzka, Gündogan, Rudy, Gomez, Trapp
Coach: Joachim Löw
Mexico: Ochoa – Salcedo, Reyes, Moreno, Layun – Marquez, Guardado (c) – Vela, Herrera, Fabian – Chicharito
Subs: Telavera, Alvarez, Ayala, Gallardo, Aquino, G. dos Santos, J. dos Santos, Corona, Jimenez, Lozano, Peralta
Coach: Juan Carlos Osorio