(WVUE) - With the 2018 World Cup on FOX 8 kicking off June 14th from Russia, we are previewing ten storylines that are worth keeping an eye on as the tournament goes on.
#8 - Germany's Defense
The 2014 champions bring a significantly changed roster to Russia, including the absence of the title game's lone scorer, Mario Goetze. The turnover is not so much due to aging players as it is an ultra-competitive environment led by Manager Joachim Low.
Goetze's omission isn't even the most surprising at his position. Leroy Sane scored 14 goals and assisted on 17 others for Manchester City in a Premier League title-winning season but was left home.
Low brought an inexperienced squad to last year's Confederations Cup, allowing veterans to rest up, and still managed to win the five-game tournament.
Germany's downfall at the 2016 European tournament was a lack of goal-scoring. In particular, Thomas Muller did not find the back of the net in any of his team's six games. RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner was the top scorer in last summer's tournament and just may be the answer again in Russia.
FOX 8 will broadcast 38 games from Russia, from first kick to final trophy presentation. The first five games on FOX 8 are:
Thursday, June 14th at 10 a.m. – Russia vs Saudi Arabia
Friday, June 15th at 10 a.m. – Morocco vs Iran
Friday, June 15th at 1 p.m. – Portugal vs Spain
Saturday, June 16th at 10 a.m. – Argentina vs Iceland
Sunday, June 17th at 7 a.m. – Costa Rica vs Serbia