A massive paire of Euro 2020 qualifiers loom ahead for the German National Team. First up is the Netherlands, followed by a visit to Northern Ireland. Die Mannschaft currently sit in the second spot of qualifying group C behind Northern Ireland, who have played one match more than Germany (4 total). The Netherlands are in desperate need of points, having collected only 3 points from their opening two qualifiers in group C. They have a few matches in hand, of course, but if they fail to beat Germany, they’ll be in a difficult spot.
The last time Germany faced the Netherlands last March, Joachim Löw’s men prevailed 3-2 thanks to goals from Leroy Sané, Serge Gnabry, and Nico Schulz. Since that match, Die Mannschaft has maintained a perfect record with two convincing qualifying wins over Belarus (2-0) and Estonia (8-0). Löw certainly hopes his side picks up right where they left off, but the upcoming matches boast a tougher test with the caliber of the opponents. The top spot in group C has to be their goal to clinch automatic qualification for the tournament next summer and avoid the playoff round.
- Leon Goretzka has suffered a minor injury and will not be in the squad against the Netherlands, although he could be fit for Northern Ireland.
- Löw has said Serge Gnabry will be a sure-fire start.
Jogi Löw „Serge Gnabry spielt immer!“— Christian Falk (@cfbayern) September 5, 2019
Where have I heard that before?
- Low has said that he wants to continue to employ a front 3, whether that’s in the form of a 4-3-3, or 5-2-3.
- Manuel Neuer will likely start in goal, but the starting spot for keeper could be given to Marc Andre ter Stegen vs. Northern Ireland.
The Predicted Lineup:
Here’s how the lineup could look if Low decides to go with a 5-2-3:
Here’s how it could look if Low chooses to go with 3 center backs in a 3-4-3 system:
There’s really only one difference in personnel between the two projected lineups. Ilkay Gündogan or Matthias Ginter might sit, depending on whether Löw decides to play with three center-backs or three central midfielders. Löw went with a 3-4-3 against Belarus and a 4-3-3 against Estonia, and both worked quite well in each respective match-up. In the 3-4-3 formation, Löw deputized Lukas Klostermann as right wing-back over Thilo Kehrer. Since Kehrer is out injured, Klostermann could play that part again.
In light of the attacking threat that the Netherlands posses, a 5-2-3 system with Jonathan Tah, Niklas Süle and Ginter as the back three seems the most pragmatic, but Löw may risk more and use an extra central midfielder with only with two center-backs.