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World champions Germany take on Asian Cup holders Australia on Monday as the two sides get their 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup campaigns under way at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia.
The Socceroos could hardly have been handed a tougher tournament opener, but they will be desperate to take something from it as they bid to finish in the top two of Group B and advance to the semi-finals.
Their other group opponents are Copa America champions Chile and Africa Cup of Nations winners Cameroon.
Read on for a preview of Germany’s clash with Australia, along with full scheduling and viewing details.
Date: Monday, June 19
Time: 4 p.m. BST/11 a.m. ET
TV Info: ITV4 (UK), FS1 (U.S.)
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Australia have a remarkably good recent record against Germany. The last time they met was in a friendly in 2015, when only a late Lukas Podolski strike in a 2-2 draw prevented Australia recording a second consecutive away victory over Germany—they had beaten them 2-1 in Monchengladbach in 2011.
The last time the two sides met at the Confederations Cup was in 2005, when their group clash ended in a thrilling 4-3 victory for Germany.
History suggests that it could be a tight encounter on Monday.
Germany do not have their full-strength squad in Russia, with manager Joachim Low opting to leave a number of big names at home.
The likes of Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Marco Reus and Mesut Ozil were all omitted, while Leroy Sane and Manuel Neuer were unavailable due to injury.
However, Low still has a strong group of players at his disposal. Even without Neuer, their goalkeeping options are Paris Saint-Germain’s Kevin Trapp, Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Bayer Leverkusen‘s Bernd Leno, via Squawka:
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OFFICIAL: Germany have confirmed their squad for the Confederations Cup in Russia. (Via @DFB_Team) https://t.co/kFrYYgTtPN
Julian Draxler and Julian Brandt are two of the most exciting attacking talents at the tournament, while Sandro Wagner goes into the clash with Australia having just netted a hat-trick in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying against San Marino.
The Socceroos’ last outing ahead of the Confederations Cup was a 4-0 humbling at the hands of Brazil in a Melbourne friendly.
Coach Ange Postecoglou made a number of changes for the clash with the Selecao, and the team he chooses to face Germany will likely bear more of a resemblance to the side that beat Saudi Arabia 3-2 on June 8.
Captain Mile Jedinak and key midfielder Aaron Mooy are both likely to return to the side, and both will be vital in helping Australia take some level of control in the midfield battle.
Germany are heavy favourites to prevail on Monday, but they are an inexperienced squad, and the Socceroos have more than enough quality in their ranks to make it a thrilling contest.
Prediction: Germany to win 2-1