Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick is wary of VfB Stuttgart and knows Die Schwaben can present some issues for his team:
“Stuttgart’s playing style is very focused on possession, they’re good at holding territory. They have a lot of intelligent players in midfield and players with a lot of speed in the final third,” said Flick. “We have to adapt well to that. It’s important that we try to dominate the game, to bring our quality into the game. That’s the job of the team. We definitely want to go into the international break with a win.”
If you want a last minute preview on the match, check out our episode of Der Ausblick:
When Joachim Löw released his latest squad, there were a couple of eye-catching names on the list and a couple of notable players left off. Let’s take a quick look:
- Surprise inclusions: Jamal Musiala, Florian Wirtz, Emre Can, Jonathan Tah, and Amine Younes.
Sure, we had heard about Musiala and Wirtz potentially getting the nod, but it was unclear if it would actually happen given Löw’s propensity for changing his mind and his allegiance to so many players. Younes, of course, has been good this season for Eintracht Frankfurt and is a player who Löw has probably been dying to give a call to. Younes is also rumored to be a Löw favorite and the same could be said for Can as well. I don’t think Can brings much to the table right now, I guess someone had to get that spot. I also guess Tah shouldn’t really be a surprise, but I really can’t recall every watching him and being impressed.
- Notable omissions: Julian Brandt, Julian Draxler, Luca Waldschmidt, and Nico Schulz.
Draxler is widely considered a favorite of Low, but has not excelled of late with his club or country, while Waldschmidt is mired in a slump for Benfica after battling a foot injury. Brandt, meanwhile, has been better of late for Borussia Dortmund, while Schulz is apparently behind Philipp Max in the pecking order these days. Of the four players listed, I was most shocked that Brandt did not make the cut.
- Not-so-shocking omissions: Thomas Müller, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, and Robin Koch.
The situation with Müller, Hummels, and Boateng is well-documented, while Koch is coming off of a knee injury and finally dressed for a match on 3/19 after being out more than three months. Clearly, Koch could use more time to get himself right.
Per most reports surrounding the roster selections, the squad called up for the European Championships could look a lot different than what we see above. Like most international breaks over the past three years, however, the question is less about the players than how they are used, when they are used, or where they are used.
It is at least somewhat exciting that Musiala and Wirtz earned a call. That should provide a little excitement if either player makes it into game action.
Antonio Rudiger wants to stay put with Chelsea, despite overtures from Paris-Saint Germain and Tottenham Hotspur:
Antonio Rudiger has branded staying at Chelsea his “priority number one”, while also revealing Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham had tried to sign him last summer. The 28-year-old has thrived under new Blues boss Thomas Tuchel and revealed his desire to extend his contract, with his current deal running until 2022.
“Even at the beginning of the season when things didn’t go my way, I was always calm, like I am now,” said Rudiger. “At the end of the day I cannot give myself a contract. So that’s why I have to wait to see what happens. Whatever happens I love being at Chelsea, so Chelsea will always be my priority number one. “Everyone, me and the club know how much I like this club, so it’s down to the people who make these types of decisions. “At the moment for me it’s to concentrate on important matches and targets. The rest, I think I’m sure we will resolve it.”
These are always 100% awesome:
With Schalke 04 a mess, clubs are lining up to bring in intriguing United States prospect Matthew Hoppe. Ajax, Norwich City, and PSV Eindhoven are among the clubs looking at the former FC Barcelona — Arizona residential academy player per Transfer Market Web:
Recently inquired about by a bunch of Premier League top clubs, American striker Matthew Hoppe (20) has now allegedly been targeted by Ajax, PSV Eindhoven, and Norwich City. The 2000-born hitman is currently on a deal with German club until June 2023.
Transfermarkt’s Manuel Veth had even more specific information that indicated Hoppe’s representation has a “gentlemen’s agreement” with Schalke 04 that might allow the youngster to bolt this summer if the price is right. Veth indicated that the scenario of Hoppe leaving is becoming “ever more likely.”
More, The Boot Room put out a report stating Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, and...Borussia Dortmund could all be in the running for Hoppe. The Dortmund angle would be wild.
As odd as it might sound, Hoppe is actually in a good spot with Schalke as he will likely continue to be a featured player and will be given opportunities to continue to grow against first-team competition on a weekly basis.
Earlier in the week, we saw the reports that Manchester United was getting back into the Jadon Sancho sweepstakes. Sport Bild’s Christian Falk couldn’t resist himself and Flexxed on some random tweet:
TRUE ✅— Christian Falk (@cfbayern) March 18, 2021
Falk wasn’t done with just commenting on the Sancho rumor, though. The Flexxx Master shot down rumors that RB Salzburg manager Jesse Marsch might make the jump to Scotland:
Thomas Müller is one of a kind, eh?
That was a pretty creative cut job.