Football fans are gearing up for what should be an exciting, if not predictable, match between the Swedes and Germans.
The teams haven't squared off in a competitive match since the 2006 World Cup, so this will be a highly anticipated chance for the Swedes to prove they can hang with a top-tier European team and possibly earn a berth to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Where: Olympic Stadium, Berlin, Germany
When: October 16, 2012 at 2:45 p.m. EST
Live Stream: ESPN 3
Germany Team Breakdown
German captain Phillip Lahm is going to make his homecoming to the team after serving a suspension.
Germany will look to maintain an undefeated record, but Lahm and his teammates fully realize that the Sweden squad is likely the toughest they will face in their pool. Lahm called the Swede team "dangerous opponents" and cited their excellent defense and the skill set of their striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
German goalie Manuel Neuer fully realizes the value of Ibrahimovic to the Swede attack, but indicated he fears more than just the talented striker, commenting that he is "fully aware of the threat the entire offensive unit will pose."
Germany took care of business against both Faroe Islands and Austria, winning the games by a combined score of 5-1, while they handled the Republic of Ireland in even more impressive fashion, defeating the Irish squad by a score of 6-1.
Who will win the match?
German coach Joachim Loew and his squad will be without midfielder Sami Khedira, who is still nursing a calf strain; Khedira didn't play the second half in the blowout win over Ireland. The injury is not expected to hold him out as long as trainers speculated it could initially, but he's definitely out for this match.
Loew said he and the staff would have to wait two or three days before finding out more regarding the injury.
Returning to the fold will be midfielder Mario Goetze, who missed the Ireland match due to sore muscles. Loew called it a muscle "tweak" and added he should be good to go for the match against Sweden on Tuesday (October 16th).
It will be either Goetze or Toni Kroos who will replace the injured Khedira in the lineup. Kroos is a chic pick of fans due the the fact he scored two impressive goals in the victory against the Republic of Ireland.
There's strong indication that Germany wins this handily, in light of the fact that Sweden narrowly escaped with a 2-1 win over a poor Faroe Islands team. However, if Sweden can manage to pull an upset, group C would be wide open again, and the Swedes could make their push towards a qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Sweden Team Breakdown
Ibrahimovic has won 10 league titles with five different clubs in three different countries.
Still, only the most loyal Swede fans believe his skill is enough to be a difference maker against a more talented German squad. While Sweden is one of the better teams in the pool, if not the definitive No. 2 team, they are big underdogs, with Bookmaker setting the odds at +1000 for Sweden.
Sweden is a much different squad than Ireland, so there is good reason for Swedes to hope for a better outcome than the disaster the Irish faced.
The Swede team doesn't focus as much on the long ball, and their attack is more structured. They are a one man team, to be sure, but a lot of teams fear them nonetheless. German forward Marco Reus couldn't even identify a single player off the Swede team outside of Ibrahimovic.
The Swedes have lost two of their last three matches to the Germans, but the last of those three was a tie in a friendly match on November 17th, 2010.
Prior to that scoreless match, they lost 3-0 and 2-0 in a friendly match and World Cup match in 2006, respectively.
While the last showdown between these teams was a scoreless match, there's little reason to believe this one will be the same. The Germans have been racking up the goals, and Sweden doesn't have a strong enough defense to counteract the German strikers.
It's possible Sweden manages a goal on a Ibrahimovic highlight, but the Germans are too keyed in on him to let him go berserk.
Germany should win this by a score of 2-1, or even 3-0, with the possibility of a higher scoring game, though it is unlikely as Bookmaker set the over/under at three goals.