Germany coach Rudi Voller has fulfilled his promise to pick a more attacking line-up for the Group D match with Latvia at Porto’s Estadio do Bessa as he sought the goals that could give his side a crucial edge in what is considered to be the tournament’s “Group of Death”.
Voller included Fredi Bobic alongside Kevin Kuranyi in a two-pronged strike force after fielding Stuttgart forward Kuranyi as a lone forward in the 1-1 draw with Holland.
The coach resisted the temptation to pick Bastian Schweinsteiger in midfield and instead showed faith in dead ball specialist Bernd Schneider, who had a poor game against the Dutch, while Jens Nowotny was left on the bench.
Schneider is on the right of a diamond-shaped midfield with Torsten Frings on the left, Dietmar Hamann in a defensive role and playmaker Michael Ballack "in the hole" behind Kuranyi and Bobic.
For Latvia, Marian Pahars must wait longer still for his first start of the tournament alongside star striker Maris Verpakovskis.
Pahars, who made a brief substitute appearance in the first match, has been struggling with a thigh injury but Andrejs Prohorenkovs had a fine game in the 2-1 defeat by the Czech Republic in Aveiro and was included alongside Verpakovskis up front.
Coach Aleksandrs Starkovs showed his faith in the side that performed so creditably against the Czechs with midfielder Juris Laizans once more left on the bench.