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Germany Watch: One idiot’s prediction on a squad for the next World Cup qualifiers

Who will be suited up for Germany’s next set of qualifiers? Let’s take a look.

1. FC Koeln v RB Leipzig - Bundesliga Photo by Max Maiwald/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

As we know from his tenure at Bayern Munich, trying to decipher Hansi Flick’s thought process is incredibly hard.

With that, I’ll attempt the impossible — predicting Flick’s squad selections for the next international break. Flick selected 25 players for the last round, so we will use that as the baseline for this next set of qualifiers as well.


Attack (12)

FC Bayern München v Dinamo Kiev: Group E - UEFA Champions League
Thomas Müller should be back in the starting XI for Hansi Fick.
Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
  • Thomas Muller, Bayern Munich
  • Leroy Sane, Bayern Munich
  • Serge Gnabry, Bayern Munich
  • Joshua Kimmich, Bayern Munich
  • Leon Goretzka, Bayern Munich
  • Jamal Musiala, Bayern Munich
  • Marco Reus, Borussia Dortmund
  • Timo Werner, Chelsea
  • Kai Havertz, Chelsea
  • Florian Wirtz, Bayern Leverkusen
  • Florian Neuhaus, Borussia Monchengladbach
  • Karim Adeyemi, RB Salzburg

Synopsis

Neuhaus could be a player, who gets cut. The recent stories leaked regarding his status being in doubt for the 2022 World Cup and a future transfer to Bayern Munich seem too well-timed to be a coincidence. That said, I left him on because his versatility should appeal to Flick. Otherwise, this unit should stay pretty consistent minus the İlkay Gündoğan injury referenced below.

Notable omissions

  • İlkay Gündoğan, Manchester City: Gundogan is battling a thigh injury and was declared out.
  • Mahmoud Dahoud, Borussia Dortmund: Dahoud could get the nod over Neuhaus, but look like he could be one of the last players axed. Dahoud also suffered a knock to his knee and while not expected to be serious, it could be enough for Flick to take a pass.
  • Julian Brandt, Borussia Dortmund: Brandt was performing well, but has been banged up, which seals his fate. After battling COVID-19 earlier in the season, Brandt is battling a muscular injury.
  • Julian Draxler, Paris Saint-Germain: Similar to Brandt, Draxler has picked up his performances on the club scene and while not injured, the versatile PSG man is among the last players left off the list.
  • Max Kruse, Union Berlin: Kruse just seems like the odd man out — even if he probably could fill a good role on the squad.

Defense (10)

FC Bayern München v Dinamo Kiev: Group E - UEFA Champions League
Niklas Süle will look to continue his torrid form with a stint under Hansi Flick.
Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
  • Niklas Sule, Bayern Munich
  • Antonio Rudiger, Chelsea
  • Lukas Klostermann, RB Leipzig
  • Marcel Halstenberg, RB Leipzig
  • Matthias Ginter, Borussia Monchengladbach
  • Jonas Hofmann, Borussia Monchengladbach
  • Ridle Baku, Wolfsburg
  • Thilo Kehrer, Paris Saint-Germain
  • Nico Schlotterbeck, SC Freiburg
  • David Raum, Hoffenheim

Synopsis

I think Flick is ready to commit to seeing if Hofmann can be the right-back he desires during this set of games. We could also see Klostermann start to transition to a more central role defensively (as a sub). It seems like Kehrer is going to shift to left-back to cover for Gosens as well.

It feels like 10 defenders is a lot, but Hofmann is a swing-player, who can play at right-back, on the wing, or in the central midfield, so the number is a bit deceiving.

Notable omissions

  • Mats Hummels, Borussia Dortmund: Hummels is reportedly still not 100% and Flick has not ruled out an eventual return for the veteran, but now might not be the right time.
  • Robin Gosens, Atalanta: Gosens suffered an off-the-ball injury in a Champions League match against Young Boys. The early speculation is that it could be a serious injury.
  • Jerome Boateng, Olympique Lyon: This was a tough omission because we know Flick’s affinity for Boateng, but it feels like Boateng might need to show a little bit more before he gets into serious consideration for a nod.
  • Emre Can, Borussia Dortmund: I personally think Can’s time with Germany is at its end, but his versatility always seems to make him an attractive option to coaches.

Goalkeepers (3)

FC Bayern München v Dinamo Kiev: Group E - UEFA Champions League
Manuel Neuer will be back in between the sticks for Germany.
Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
  • Manuel Neuer, Bayern Munich
  • Marc-Andre ter Stegen, FC Barcelona
  • Bernd Leno, Arsenal

Synopsis

There is not not much wiggle room here unless Flick goes completely off the radar.

Notable omissions

  • Kevin Trapp, Eintracht Frankfurt: I seriously considered placing Trapp over Leno, simply because Leno has been displaced at Arsenal, but Flick might want to take a close look at Leno with his own eyes.