clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Germany should be World Cup favorites, but their midfield is in trouble

Injuries are taking their toll on Germany and forcing one player to do everything.

Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

Dzsenifer Marozsán might be the best midfielder at the World Cup, but she's going to need some help from her partners to advance through the tournament. At the moment, she's not getting it.

Germany dominated the first half of their game against Norway, and in pretty fashion. They did stuff like this, over and over again.

But they only turned that dominance into one goal, leaving the door open for Norway. The Grasshoppers didn't create a lot of chances, but they converted the one dangerous free kick they won, snagging a 1-1 draw. Germany never really threatened their goal in the second half.

What changed? Increased pressure Marozsán and an injury to Simone Laudehr. Her replacement, Lena Lotzen, isn't a real central midfielder and was poor in the role. She only had to come in because the woman Silvia Neid would have preferred to bring on, Melanie Leupolz, picked up an injury against the Ivory Coast.

There was also little to no pressure on Maroszán in the first half, and she was free to do whatever she wanted. Her long shot was what led to Anja Mittag's opening goal, and she was free to play aggressive, attacking passes throughout the period. But once Norway started closing her down more aggressively, she had to make safer passes, and her teammates couldn't create scoring opportunities like she should. It didn't help that Alexandra Popp, the central attacking midfielder ahead of Maroszán, was poor for the second straight game.

If Leupolz and Laudehr have serious injuries and can't return for the knockout stages, Germany are in trouble. They'll beat Thailand comfortably in their next game with any lineup, win the group and likely draw an easy opponent in the Round of 16, but a quarterfinal against France awaits them. And without another high-quality midfielder to take some pressure off Marozsán, they won't win that match.