While the regular league season may be coming to an end, Bayern Munich and Germany fans still have the Euros to look forward to. Jogi Low has finally amde the logical decision to bring Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels to the team, while dropping underperforming stars like Julian Brandt and Jonathan Tah. However, with countries like France and Spain looking incredibly strong this year, simply bringing that duo back won’t be enough for Germany to achieve success in the tournament.
Now, everyone knows that a good lineup goes a long way, but how Germany will line up in the Euros remains a mystery to everyone (including the coach). Since Jogi had to backpedal on what amounts to two years of stubborn squad selection, many of these players have little recent game time with each other at the international level. This is probably why so many Bayern players were called up — their club experience can form the bedrock for this new team.
With that in mind, let’s look at the best possible lineup Germany can field in the upcoming tournament.
With Thomas Muller, Serge Gnabry, and Leroy Sane all having played an entire season together at the club level, the Bayern trio will be the glue that holds the team together.
Unfortunately, Robert Lewandowski isn’t German, and Jogi chose not to call up a proper #9 like Max Kruse or Niclas Fullkrug. This means that either Timo Werner or Kevin Volland will have to play up top without support. They’re not target men, so that role will be hard for them to fill. Also, neither have any experience playing with Muller, which could be another big issue.
An alternative would be to move Muller up top, and bring in Jamal Musiala to the attacking midfield position. The youngster has been a revelation in his debut season at Bayern, and he’s honestly been in better form than both Gnabry and Sane this year. He’s still young, which makes it unlikely that he’ll start, but having Musiala and Muller up top would be a strong combination.
Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka are surefire starters owing to their Bayern experience, so that leaves either Ilkay Gundogan or Toni Kroos for a third midfield spot. Both of them could play as the most advanced central midfielder in a setup where Muller plays as striker, as both have plenty of experience in such a role.
Alternatively, if Kimmich has to be moved to right-back, then one of them will need to partner Goretzka in the middle. Gundogan might get the nod over Kroos in this case owing to his superior mobility, as he’s more used to playing in a pressing-oriented system than the Real Madrid man. However, the control that Kroos brings to the table cannot be ignored, and he’s more likely to start simply because Low knows him better.
The defense is a lot less complicated than the attack or midfield, because there’s just a lot less quality to choose from. Mats Hummels and Niklas Sule have plenty of experience playing with each other, so if Sule can get fit then he’s probably the best bet for the center-back position.
Lukas Klostermann is an extremely defensive player, but he is probably Germany’s best right-back at the moment. To play him, Robin Gosens could be an option on the left to make up for Klostermann’s lack of attacking output, kind of like how Bayern sets up with Alphonso Davies and Benjamin Pavard.
Alternatively, Niklas Sule could be moved to RB, as he’s shown strong performances there at the club level. Germany have quite a few center backs going to the Euros, but not many fullbacks — which gives Sule a better chance at making the lineup if he’s out wide. He has the experience of playing with Sane on the wing at Bayern, which is a advantage for the coach. Low needs to decide who to go with based on how the team performs in the training camp — with the info we have now, it’s impossible to make an informed guess about the exact lineup.
At least one position is simple. In goal, Manuel Neuer is the only option. Leno and Trapp can warm the bench.
Here’s a quick look at some of the potential lineups that we may see:
It’s hard to decide which one is the “best” among them, especially since Low wasted the last two years by not calling up some of his best players. Option #1 seems best to me as a Bayern fan, but option #3 is compelling. I’m interested to see what people think in the comments.