With Bayern Munich on hiatus, Germany will face-off with Romania in a FIFA World Cup qualifier for Group J.
Die Mannschaft iced Iceland 3-0 on Thursday, while Romania edged North Macedonia 3-2.
The Germans should be the favorite here once again, but Romania is expected to present more of a challenge — especially offensively — than Iceland did to Joachim Löw’s crew.
Let’s take a look at who’s in and who’s out (Hint: It’s ugly).
If you missed the roster release, the graphic below will give you an idea of the player pool that Germany is working with:
Germany, however, has already been hit by the injury/illness bug as it has lost the following players:
- Niklas Süle (muscle strain — OUT)
- Toni Kroos (adductor — OUT)
- Jonas Hofmann (COVID-19 positive — OUT)
- Marcel Halstenberg (COVID-19 close contact isolation — OUT)
- Robin Gosens (muscle injury — QUESTIONABLE)
- Leon Goretzka (calf injury — QUESTIONABLE)
- Leroy Sane (hamstring injury — QUESTIONABLE)
So, where does Löw go from here?
With so many injuries, this is yet another guessing game on Löw’s lineup. However, the 61-year-old coach did say he would be keeping his backline in tact.
Let’s take a guess that Löw will stay with the 4-3-3 setup:
- The positioning of the front three is not a huge concern when it comes to predicting the exact positions because of how they tend to interchange during the game. We could see Werner start up top or even Gnabry, but I’d expect that they move around fluidly throughout the match.
- It feels like Löw would be doing Bayern Munich a major disservice to play either Sane or Goretzka in this game. Even if either player is slightly banged up, it would be better to have them sit out this game instead of against North Macedonia (where I’d assume we will see a more heavily rotated lineup).
- I trusted that Löw was being honest in saying that the backline would remain the same. (If he changes the defenders, I will just it in a dark room and listen to The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” until the tears subside).
- It feels like Neuer will start this game and then make way for Marc-André ter Stegen against North Macedonia.
- I don’t think we will see the debut of Florian Wirtz in this match. I am guessing that will happen against North Macedonia if everything breaks right for Germany.
- Sane plays despite his injury and removes Werner.
- Goretzka plays despite his injury and removes Neuhaus.
Do you have any other idea for the lineup? Let us know in the comments below!
Update 9:00 AM EST
It looks like the “key point” above is the actual plan for Germany’s goalkeepers:
Manuel Neuer will start against Romania tonight. However, for Wednesday's game against North Macedonia, Jogi Löw and his coaching staff are planning to give Marc-André ter Stegen a chance. Neuer could already return to Munich after tonight's game [Bild] pic.twitter.com/WeYYrnnitS— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) March 28, 2021