Germany have drawn both of their first two games in this year’s edition of the UEFA Nations League, which is rather unfortunate given the way they played.
As a former Bayern Munich coach, Hansi Flick will not be used to the idea of going three games winless, so Saturday’s game versus Hungary will be a chance for the squad to set things right. However, the coach also needs to balance the fitness of the squad, something that national team managers usually take for a given. The game vs Hungary could be trickier than it looks.
Marco Reus is injured again, while Serge Gnabry has some issues with his calf. Apart from that, the squad is mostly fit to play. Despite the games coming thick and fast, Flick will probably field a lineup similar to the one we saw against England, with only a few changes.
Thomas Muller and Kai Havertz are prime candidates to start up top, with Jamal Musiala and Jonas Hofmann on the wings. Timo Werner is also an option for any of the four main attacking spots, and he may well play given that he was rested against England, but it’s hard to predict. What about Leroy Sane? Uh, let’s not talk about it.
In midfield, we may see Leon Goretzka return to the lineup next to Joshua Kimmich. Ilkay Gundogan could also start, but since he played almost the entire game in midweek, Flick might opt to rest him for the game against Italy.
The defense is the part of the lineup most likely to undergo changes. Niklas Sule should return to the XI in place of Nico Schlotterbeck, playing next to Antonio Rudiger at center-back. Thilo Kehrer could return to the lineup (much to the chagrin of fans) in place of Lukas Klostermann at right-back, but David Raum should at least continue in his role as the team’s main left-back option. Manuel Neuer is the only player confirmed to be starting against Hungary, as Flick announced it in his press conference.
Here’s what the lineup could look like:
Here’s what Bild thinks the lineup might be: