PHOTO: Is this Germany's starting line-up? No Ozil in midfield?

Ozil Arsenal 5

Arsenal stars are involved, but Chelsea midfielder Andre Schurrle and Manchester United target Bastian Schweinsteiger both miss out.

The popular German newspaper, Bild, has predicted that there will be a few shocks in store when Germany reveal their starting line-up against Portugal for their World Cup opener on Monday, June 16. 

Bild speculates that out-of-sort Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil could be utilised as a lone-striker in front of an attacking trio of Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos and Lukas Podolski, as Philipp Lahm could be given a midfield role in favour of Manchester United target Bastian Schweinsteiger. 

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker is expected to take his place in the heart of the German defence alongside Mats Hummels, while Jerome Boateng and Benedikt Howedes are preferred in the full-back positions.

Sami Khedira, a player tipped to star in Brazil despite a long injury layoff, will also take his natural 'sitting' central midfield role in the German side, alongside Bayern Munich's Lahm. 

Despite the absence of Schweinsteiger, the real shock in the predicted German starting XI is Ozil's role as the lone-striker. Despite spells as a wide attacking forward, the 25-year-old midfielder did not feature in a central position for the Gunners in the 2013-14 season. 

In fact, in the pre-World Cup friendlies, both Muller and Gotze played the 'false 9' role for Germany, which leads me to believe they are more likely to get the nod in that position than Ozil. 

Nevertheless, whichever side coach Joachim Low opts to put out against Portugal on Monday will be sure to have more than enough quality to trouble the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani, as they Germans look to get off to the best possible start.

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