Germany predicted lineup vs Costa Rica - World Cup

Grey Whitebloom
Germany were the first team to qualify for the World Cup
Germany were the first team to qualify for the World Cup / Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

Germany go toe-to-toe with Costa Rica on Thursday evening in their final group game of the 2022 World Cup.

With just one point to their name in Qatar, Germany are staring down the barrel of another group-stage elimination. Back in 2018, Joachim Low at least managed to oversee a victory against Sweden but the 2022 vintage are yet to win a game. Germany haven't gone through a World Cup without at least one win since 1938.

Here's the XI Hansi Flick may deploy in search of a maiden victory.

Germany predicted lineup vs Costa Rica (4-2-3-1)

Manuel Neuer
Manuel Neuer is the only Germany men's international with more than 100 caps but no goals / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

GK: Manuel Neuer - Famously skilled with his feet as well as his gloved hands, Neuer showed the strength of his voice when he played a character in the German dubbed version of Monster University, the sequel to the Pixar animation film, Monsters Inc. in 2013.

RB: Thilo Kehrer - No player has been granted more minutes (1,250) for Germany's national team than Kehrer since Flick took charge.

CB: Niklas Sule - Two games in and Sule has been directly at fault for two goals already. However, the dearth of centre-backs which Flick trusts may give Sule a starting berth by default.

CB: Antonio Rudiger - "I was born here, but I will never be German to some Germans," Rudiger wrote in the Players' Tribune

LB: David Raum - After being afforded just five starts for Greuther Furth in the German second tier in 2018/19, Raum seriously considered 'doing something entirely different'. He stuck with football and is reaping the rewards on a global stage.

CM: Ilkay Gundogan - The injuries which have plagued Gundogan's career began when he was just eight years old. An ankle problem forced young Ilkay to wear a 'special sock' which meant he 'wore one tiny shoe and one massive one'.

CM: Joshua Kimmich - Jose Mourinho has never coached Kimmich but was keen to compliment his versatility. "I see him as a top right-back, left-back, centre-back, number six, number eight, number ten...he has qualities to be anything."

AM: Jamal Musiala - Unhelpfully lauded as 'the next Lionel Messi' by Lothar Matthaus - a player legendary enough to elicit a line of half-baked successors himself - Musiala will surely be retained by Flick.

RW: Serge Gnabry - After breaking into Arsenal's first-team squad, Gnabry's parents tried to bring him down to Earth after a spending splurge. "You need to stay grounded," his mum told him, "because everyone falls down at some point.”

ST: Niclas Fullkrug - Germany's point-stealer against Spain has played a total of 75 minutes for the senior national team but already has two goals to his name.

LW: Leroy Sane - Injury has hampered Sane's start to the tournament but the Bayern Munich flyer may be in line for his first start after an impressive cameo against Spain.

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