With four days of European games coming to an end, the tournament can finally begin for fans of Bayern Munich as the vast majority of the team’s players are set to take the pitch in Day 5’s game between Germany and France. With the group being one of the hardest in the tournament, both teams will be looking for an early win to get their campaigns off to the right start. However, it feels like one team is significantly better prepared than the other.
Given that we’re starting things off with one of the biggest clashes of the entire Euros, it would be appropriate to dive straight into predicted lineups. Joachim Low is nothing if not predictable, and most outlets have already figured out what his starting XI will be, based on injuries and events in training.
Per reports, Leroy Sane has been dropped for Kai Havertz. The Chelsea man will line up next to Serge Gnabry and Thomas Muller at the head of a 3-4-3, and the trio will be tasked with spearheading a German attack that will encounter a French defense that is 50% Bayern. Germany legend Lothar Matthaus has suggested that Timo Werner may start in Gnabry’s stead, to better exploit gaps in the French defense. While the reasoning is sound, Werner’s in the middle of a legendary funk at the moment, so it’s probably too much to rely on him in a big game vs. France.
Meanwhile, question marks hang over the German midfield. Leon Goretzka is all but ruled out for the game, while Joshua Kimmich has been moved to the right-back position for a lack of better options. That means that Toni Kroos and Ilkay Gundogan are set to pair up in the middle of the park, which should be a good option maintain control regardless of who Deschamps chooses to oppose them.
The worry lies in their defending — a Kroos-Gundo pairing may well leave the backline exposed, which the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Olivier Giroud, or any number of French attackers will look to exploit. Even Bayern’s own Kingsley Coman may be in the mix, if he happens to be fit enough to play. This could become a critical weakness in the German setup, unless Low has something up his sleeve. For the sake of argument, let’s just assume he does.
For the defense, Joshua Kimmich and Robin Gosens are set to line up at their respective wingback positions, while Low will likely go with a back-three consisting of Mats Hummels, Matthias Ginter, and Antonio Rudiger. Manuel Neuer, as always, will be in goal — wearing the captain’s armband as usual.
With all that info, here’s how Germany should line up tomorrow:
- Timo Werner for Serge Gnabry on the wing.
- Niklas Sule for any one of the center-backs.
- Leroy Sane in for Kai Havertz (if Low has a change of heart).
Florian Plettenberg basically confirms the prediction by final training XI. Looks like Low isn’t going to spring any surprises on us.