Michael Sohn/Associated Press
The shape, as it has been since the quarter-final of Euro 2008, will be 4-2-3-1, but that only tells part of the story.
Partly through necessity, Jogi Low has abandoned a centre-forward to play with a false nine eight times over the past two years.
Mario Gomez hasn't even been included in the squad, and while Miroslav Klose, at 36, could be given the chance to add to his 14 goals in World Cups, it seems likely that Low will start with Mario Gotze as a false nine, with Thomas Muller and Marco Reus on the flanks and Mesut Ozil as the playmaker.
That leaves another issue, though, which is that this is a front four that isn’t necessarily great at tracking back, which can expose the back four.
Low's attempts to make Germany a more proactive team have coincided with such defensive lapses that no side that finished top of its qualifying group in Europe conceded more goals than Germany.