A new era of German football is upon us! Following a historically poor Euros campaign under Jogi Low, Hansi Flick is looking to get Die Mannschaft back on track with the specific brand of football that made Bayern Munich treble winners last season. This game versus Liechtenstein will be the first of many under Hansi, and fans can’t wait to see what he does with the players he’s called up.
It’s most bad news, especially if you’re a Bayern fan. Flick’s right hand man Thomas Muller had to be sent back to Munich for adductor problems — an ominous sign this early in the season. Manuel Neuer also continues to suffer with problems in his ankle, with the coach confirming that he will be replaced by Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno in goal tomorrow.
As for the rest of the lineup — it’s hard to say who will play where, given that we have no info on what formations Flick tried in training. Assuming he keeps to the template that he used while in charge of Bayern, we should see a standard 4-2-3-1 with Kai Havertz and Timo Werner up top (for the Chelsea connection). Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry are the best candidates for the wings, although Marco Reus should be in the conversation as well.
The German offense honestly has plenty of options, which is probably why Hansi was comfortable sending Muller home for this one. In addition to the aforementioned veterans, Jamal Musiala and Karim Adeyemi are also options for the coach. There will likely be plenty of experimentation in this international break as Flick figures out which combination suits his tactics best.
In midfield, however, it’s likely that Hansi may go for the tried-and-tested pairing of Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich, which he always relied on Bayern. Florian Neuhaus and Ilkay Gundogan are also in with a shout, and they should get chances to demonstrate their quality during these three games — but for now, we assume that the Bayern duo holds supremacy in the mind of the coach. After all, he won everything with them.
In defense, Wolfsburg’s Ridle Baku is expected to finally start at right-back for the German first team, something that fans have been looking forward to. He will likely be joined by Antonio Rudiger and Niklas Sule in central defense, neither of whom have any competition for their spot right now due to the injury to Mats Hummels. Left-back, meanwhile, is a bit of a mystery. Robin Gosens was Jogi’s go-to choice for the Euros, but Hansi may be looking to switch things up with David Raum.
Let’s see how this XI is shaping up:
By the way, Hansi was asked during his press conference about who would be captain tomorrow. He declined to confirm his choice. Honestly, as a Bayern fan, I can’t see anyone but Kimmich getting the armband. He’s clearly a leader on the team and also one of the senior-most players with Neuer and Muller out. You can’t give it to someone like Reus or Gundogan when they’re barely even starters.
Josh for the armband, Hansi!
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Bavarian Podcast Works: Preview Show — Germany vs. Liechtenstein
Update: 10:17PM EST
Here is kicker’s predicted lineup: