Germany v Portugal team news: Cristiano Ronaldo starts for Portugal as Joachim Low names Thomas Muller in attack for Germany
Mario Gotze has been preferred to Lukas Podolski in the Group G opener
Monday 16 June 2014
Cristiano Ronaldo will lead Portugal out against Germany at Salvador’s Fonte Nova arena after recovering from the thigh and knee injuries that had put his participation in this Group G opener in doubt.
The Ballon d’Or winner captain’s a Portugal side that sees his Real Madrid team-mate Fabio Coentrao and Manchester United’ Nani also start, while Joao Moutinho will partner former Chelsea midfielder Raul Meireles in the centre.
Germany name Thomas Muller as their lead striker, meaning that Miroslav Klose will have to wait if he is to tie Brazil’s Ronaldo as the leading World Cup goalscorer of all-time – Klose’s tally of 14 is one off the World Cup winner’s record haul.
Joachim Low has named three centre-backs in his starting line-up, with Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker joined by Mats Hummels and Benedikt Howedes. Jerome Boateng is likely to start on the right and will be tasked with the daunting task of stopping Ronaldo, with Howedes expected to take the left-back role.
Bayern Munich and Germany captain Philipp Lahm starts in his defensive midfield role, while Mesut Ozil, Mario Gotze and Toni Kroos will support Muller in attack.
Germany: Neuer,Boateng, Mertesacker, Hummels, Howedes, Lahm, Khedira, Ozil, Kroos, Gotze, Muller.
Portugal: Patricio, Alves, Pepe, Veloso, Coentrao, Ronaldo (c), Moutinho, Almeida, Meireles, Nani, Pereira
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