You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Mexico more than just Hernandez, warns Mustafi

Goal.com logo Goal.com 27-06-2017

Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi urged Germany not to become fixated on the threat of Javier Hernandez in their Confederations Cup semi-final against Mexico.

© Provided by Goal.com

Former Manchester United striker Hernandez has 39 goals to his name for Bayer Leverkusen since joining the Bundesliga side two seasons ago and was on target for his country in their opening 2-2 draw against Portugal in Russia.

A future without Messi and Ronaldo

He sat out the subsequent 2-1 win over Australia, returning to help dump the hosts out of the tournament by the same scoreline in Kazan at the weekend, although Hernandez did miss Mexico's training session on Monday due to muscular fatigue.

Heavily rotated line-ups have been a prominent feature during Juan Carlos Osorio's time in charge of Mexico and, as such, Mustafi expects threats to come from all angles in a semi-final billed somewhat differently to the Cristiano Ronaldo versus Alexis Sanchez clash in Portugal versus Chile.

"Mexico are a team who don't have that superstar, they are a team who plays good together with a lot of experience," he said at Germany's training base in Sochi when asked about the challenge of facing Hernandez.

"You must be sure that they will play as a team and be aggressive because of that – because they don't have a superstar.

"They play for each other and I think that makes them so strong."

Expecting to be attacked from all quarters at the Fisht Stadium, Mustafi pledged to do his homework before Thursday's showdown.

"Each player has his qualities and you have to analyse the strengths of the player to know how to defend against them," he explained.

"That's what I'm going to do in the next days. See the games, see Mexico, how they play, each player's strengths and then try to put myself up against it."

Germany boss Joachim Low has operated with a back three in the past two matches against Chile and Cameroon – Mustafi was rested for the latter, a 3-1 win – having started with a four-man defence for the opening victory over Australia.

Mustafi, 25, is grateful for Arsene Wenger's switch to 3-4-3 during the closing weeks of the Premier League campaign, given he was largely unfamiliar with the system as a professional.

"This tournament been important for me because the coach gave me a big role in the team to be a leader from the back," he said.

"It was important for me to do this for Germany. It's a really big thing for me. It brought me to the next step in terms of experience.

"We play in a system that I haven't played in for years, only for a few weeks I played in that system at Arsenal in the last weeks of the season.

"Obviously it was nice to practice the same system and play the same system that I play for my club, also for the role the manager [Low] gave me."

More from GOAL.com

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon