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.
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: