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How should Germany line up against France?

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Coach Jogi Löw surely wants to make a strong statement in tomorrow’s international match as he and the DFB attempt to put their World Cup disaster far behind them.

04.09.2018, Bavaria, Munich: German national coach Joachim Loew during the training of the German national football team on the campus of FC Bayern Munich. The DFB will meet the national team of France on 6 September 2018.
Jogi Löw with the German national team.
Photo by Peter Kneffel/picture alliance via Getty Images

Das (Re-)Reboot begins tomorrow evening when Germany takes on reigning World Cup champions France at the Allianz Arena. There is little at stake — the new Nations League competition hardly has the caché of the World Cup or the Euro — and yet this glorified friendly match will be intensely scrutinized. A strong performance will help banish the ghost of Germany’s spectacular failure in Russia; a poor performance will rekindle the debate over the DFB and Jogi Löw in particular.

The squad

With the departure of Mesut Özil and Sami Khedira, Jogi Löw now must rethink the heart of the national team. Leon Goretzka, now sporting Khedira’s number 6, looks like an ideal candidate to take his place alongside Toni Kroos in the midfield.

How Löw replaces Özil at the 10 spot is another question. Julian Brandt inherited Özil’s number, but he is obviously not about to inherit Özil’s place in the lineup. Brandt could find himself out wide on the right, if Löw opts to move Thomas Müller into his favored position behind the striker, where he has played brilliantly for Bayern thus far this season. But Löw could very well keep Müller on the right (or drop him entirely) and play Marco Reus or Julian Draxler or even conceivably Leon Goretzka as CAM.

Here are three possible lineups:

Chuck Smith

Tom Adams

John Dillon