Joshua Kimmich was one of Germany’s top performers in their 3-0 win over Iceland in their first World Cup 2022 qualifier in Duisburg. Goals from Leon Goretzka, Kai Havertz and Ilkay Gundogan secured the three points for Die Mannschaft, cementing them into the top spot in qualifying group J with a goal difference of +3. Their next test in qualifying lies in the form of a trip to Bucharest to take on Romania, who beat North Macedonia 3-2 in their opening qualifier.
In the press conference previewing tomorrow’s clash against Romania, Kimmich previewed Germany’s opponents and also discussed his specific position on Die Mannschaft (SPOX). He stressed the importance of trying to finish in the top spot in group J, meaning they can’t take any qualifier lightly. “Since only the first qualifies directly, every game is important. The Romanians are a little stronger in football than the Icelanders. So we have to be on our guard there at all times,” he said.
Joachim Low has toyed with switching from a back four to a back three at times. Sometimes it has worked, sometimes it has failed miserably. In the 3-0 win over Iceland, Germany started with a back four of Emre Can, Antonio Rudiger, Matthias Ginter, and Lukas Klostermann, but Kimmich admitted that, at times, the buildup play turned it into a back three. “Generally it [the formation] always depends on the opponent. In the game we played with a back four, but often built up with a back three. We are very flexible in this regard. The national coach also has the decision here,” Kimmich explained.
Personally, Kimmich started in the center of midfield alongside Goretzka and Gundogan in a similar position that he occupies with Bayern Munich. Of course, he’s clocked a lot of time for both Bayern and Germany as a right back, but he said that he will always be more comfortable playing in midfield. “This is a discussion that will never end. I have spoken about this many times. I feel most comfortable in midfield because that’s where I can best show my strengths. In general, I’m not someone who doesn’t want to help the team. The final decision rests with the national coach,” he said.
In addition to Toni Kroos withdrawing from the squad before the Iceland match, it has been confirmed that Niklas Sule will not play a part during the rest of the international break for Germany through a minor injury problem. Low also confirmed that Goretzka has a minor calf issue, so he is questionable for tomorrow’s match against Romania. This could mean a potential start for Borussia Monchengladbach’s Florian Neuhaus.