presented by
Germany v Argentina

Debate centres on Schweinsteiger and Müller

Joachim Löw was at the Allianz Arena last Sunday to see Bayern’s 1-0 victory over Hamburg, but the Germany boss will have paid special attention to the performances of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Müller, who could both play significant roles for their country against Argentina on Wednesday.

Schweinsteiger is thriving in a central midfield position for his club, and could assume similar duties for his country against the Gauchos. “It’s certainly possible,” Löw said on Tuesday, in which case Schweinsteiger would partner Michael Ballack. “Argentina are very dangerous through the middle, so we might ask Michael and Bastian to share and exchange duties.”

“It’s the position where I think I’m strongest,” Schweinsteiger recently emphasised. He has been convincing in his new-found role at Bayern. “He’s been truly impressive,” Christian Nerlinger commented, “I really don’t think there’s anyone better in the position in Europe.”

Löw ready to take risks

If Schweinsteiger does take a central midfield berth, Thomas Müller has a very good chance of a start in his very first senior international. The contenders for the right side of midfield are the FCB shooting star or Toni Kroos, currently on loan to Bayer Leverkusen from Bayern. “If Bastian does play centrally, we need an alternative on the right, and both are in my thoughts,” Löw confirmed.

“Of course it’s a risk fielding young players against such quality opposition,” the coach continued, “but I’m perfectly prepared to take it.” Müller is thoroughly relaxed about the debate. “It wouldn’t exactly be bad to face Argentina in Munich, but I’m demanding and expecting nothing,” he told a few days ago.

Klose or Gomez?

Schweinsteiger could fill a new role and Müller is poised for his debut, while Philipp Lahm is almost certain to start at left-back rather than on the right as at Bayern. Up front, Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez are both chasing a single starting place.

Löw called on his men to show “discipline and smart tactics. Argentina will push us to the limit,” he said, “we’ll need every player, including the forwards, to help out in defence. When it comes to pressing, hardly anyone’s better than Argentina.”