With Bayern Munich on hiatus, Germany will face-off with North Macedonia in a FIFA World Cup qualifier for Group J.
Die Mannschaft iced Iceland 3-0 last Thursday, outlsted Romania on Sunday 1-0, and will now look to close off this break with another victory over North Macedonia.
The Germans should be the heavy favorite here once again, but with a few players banged up, it will be interesting
Let’s take a look at who’s in and who’s out (Hint: It’s still ugly).
If you missed the roster release, the graphic below will give you an idea of the player pool that Germany is working with:
Unser Kader für die WM-Qualifikationsspiele im März❗#GERISL #ROUGER #GERMKD #DieMannschaft pic.twitter.com/M4QP0SttFM— Die Mannschaft (@DFB_Team) March 19, 2021
Germany, however, has already been hit by the injury/illness bug as it has lost the following players:
- Niklas Süle (muscle strain — OUT, already returned to Bayern Munich)
- Toni Kroos (adductor — OUT, already returned to Real Madrid)
- Jonas Hofmann (COVID-19 positive — OUT, already returned to Borussia Mönchengladbach)
- Marcel Halstenberg (COVID-19 close contact isolation — OUT, already returned to RB Leipzig)
- Robin Gosens (muscle injury — QUESTIONABLE)
- Leon Goretzka (calf injury — PROBABLE)
- Leroy Sane (hamstring injury — PROBABLE)
At this point, Gosens should just sit out and ensure he returns to Atalanta at 100%, while Goretzka and Sane each played against Romania. Still, with even minor knocks, this would be a good game for Löw to rotate those two out.
So, where does Löw go from here?
Let’s take a guess that the 2014 World Cup winner will stay with the 4-3-3 setup that he used in the games against Iceland and Romania:
- Löw said he expects to keep the same lineup “for the most part”, so I am gambling that he comes to his senses and doesn’t use Goretzka or Sane...or heck, even Gosens.
Joachim Löw on tomorrow's lineup: "Marc André ter Stegen will start in goal tomorrow. That's already decided. We have to see how Robin Gosens is doing after a long break and whether he is fit enough to start. For the most part we will keep the same lineup" pic.twitter.com/HeN1f9S4Yl— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) March 30, 2021
- I’m probably a dope, but I think Löw will sit Goretzka and Sane. I’d expect Florian Neuhaus and Timo Werner to get the call in filling those spots.
- I do think, however, that Joshua Kimmich and Serge Gnabry will remain in the XI.
- Marc-André ter Stegen should be in line for a start.
- We know that İlkay Gündoğan will be the captain, so that means Neuer is definitely out.
Confirmed by Jogi Löw: @IlkayGuendogan will be captain for Germany on wednesday against north macedonia @DFB_Team— Christian Falk (@cfbayern) March 30, 2021
- Löw reportedly told Timo Werner that he doesn’t trust him, but this seems like the kind of thing Löw would do before starting Werner.
- I’d fully expect to see Florian Neuhaus filling in for Goretzka.
- Sane does not get a rest day and plays despite his injury, which removes Werner.
- Goretzka plays despite any remnant of his injury and removes Neuhaus.
Do you have any other idea for the lineup? Let us know in the comments below!