There are six days until Germany face-off against a strong Chile side at the Mercedes-Benz-Arena with the squad announcement eagerly anticipated by players and fans alike.
Two players that will be itching to see their names on selected are Arsenal's Lukas Podolski and Chelsea's Andre Schurrle.
Both players play similar roles and with the strength of the competition around the midfield and attacking areas presently staggering, it's likely just one of the two Premier League stars will make the final cut for Brazil. The duo have both been in and out of their side's for their respective clubs, and for one of them - it could be costly.
We take a look at what the stats show between the two players and who has the strongest argument to make the final squad.
First and foremost, it's important to show the substantial statistics regarding the two players, in terms of goals and assists:
|Player||Team||Pos||Goals||Goal Assist||mins / Touches||Mins|
Schurrle has played much more football than his German counterpart in the Premier League, largely due to Podolski's injury situation. However, both players have scored three Premier League goals this season with Podolski playing nearly less than half the time.
Podolski is also shown to be the more active in games too after recording a touch of the ball every 1.18 minutes.
Often the statistics can be swayed by the team-mates not taking the chances you plate up for them, or outstanding goalkeeping stopping a shot that you might of otherwise scored.
|Player||Team||Pos||mins / Total Scoring Att||mins / Total Key Pass||Mins|
Schurrle has been the much more potent with regards to attempting to create goalscoring opportunities and attempting shots on goal. Despite that, the less productive Podolski has matched him for the goals and assists, so either Schurrle is unlucky and his team-mates are letting him down, or his end product isn't of the same standard as his competition.
In terms of their wing play, which is likely to come under the job description in their position in the World Cup, it is the former Bayer Leverkusen attacker that comes out on top, and quite comfortably too:
|Player||Team||Pos||Total Cross||Accurate Cross||Mins|
Schurrle has shown a fairly acceptable level of crossing ability, whilst Podolski has hit seven crosses but as of yet, has failed to find another Arsenal shirt. However, when it comes to dribbling, the Arsenal attacker is the much more accurate, despite not attempting to beat his man as much as the Chelsea player.
|Player||Team||Pos||Total Att Dribble||Won Dribbles||Mins|
And when it comes to passing, it's also the Arsenal man that comes out on top:
|Player||Team||Pos||Total Pass||Accurate Pass||mins / Total Pass||Mins|
Podolski is shown to be the stronger passer of the ball and the more potent around the final third, something the German coach will no doubt take into account.
|Player||Team||Pos||mins / Fwd Pass||mins / Backward Pass||mins / Successful Final Third Passes||Mins|
All in all, both players face fierce competition for their place. Not only for the first eleven, but the squad as a whole. And with no disrespect to Schurrle, I find it hard to envisage Joachim Low dropping the experienced Podolski from his young squad.
Therefore, I predict Podolski will take the place on the plane to Brazil, while there is a strong possibility Schurrle could miss out.
image: © sdhansay