Bayern Munich fans suffering from withdrawal can relax for a minute, because football is back in the Allianz Arena this week! Germany take on England in their second game of this year’s Nations League summer, and both teams have plenty to prove.
Hansi Flick and Gareth Southgate will be itching for a win following less-than-stellar opening games against Italy and Hungary respectively. With the World Cup just over the horizon, this game will be a crucial measuring stick to see how preparations are going. So what does Flick have in store?
Marco Reus is back in the squad! Uhh, did anyone notice he was out to begin with? No? Nevermind then. He won’t even play against England, he’s not fit enough yet.
Before we move onto the lineups, you should check out the latest episode of our podcast for a detailed breakdown of the Italy game, including all the issues Germany faced, how Flick can fix them, and what we want to see versus England. It really is comprehensive so give it a listen (below or at this link).
Now, onto lineups. The first problem Hansi Flick needs to solve from the Italy game is the issue of the offense. Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane were woeful against the Azzurri, and probably should not be starting on current form. One of them may well start anyway, with Serge Gnabry currently looking the more likely candidate.
The striker question is something Flick was asked to address in his press conference, and he refused to give a straight answer. Currently, the choice is between two Chelsea players — not a good sign if you know about Chelsea’s track record with strikers. The coach praised Timo Werner for his ability to create space for others, while confirming that Kai Havertz is another candidate for the position. Given that it would be nice to see Havertz start up top alongside Thomas Muller, we’ll go with that for today.
Jamal Musiala should be an option for the final winger spot against England, especially after his positive cameo vs Italy on Saturday. Of course Flick is still a little weird when it comes to young players, so while Musiala definitely should start, he most probably won’t. Let’s hope the coach changes his mind.
The midfield remains set in stone, despite a shaky performance against the Azzurri. Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka are best candidates for a pivot, and Hansi Flick knows that. Ilkay Gundogan, however, can be a solid addition to the XI if the game needs more control. Assume that Flick will start with Kimmretzka and sub on Gundogan later in the game.
In defense, don’t expect Benjamin Henrichs to make another appearance for the national team. The RB Leipzig right-back was woeful in his outing against Italy and will almost certainly be replaced by Gladbach midfielder Jonas Hofmann, who has all the qualities Hansi Flick wants in a fullback. Niklas Sule and Antonio Rudiger seem locked-in at center-back, though Nico Schlotterbeck could potentially be given an outing on account of his impressive performances for Freiburg last season. Finally, David Raum should replace Thilo Kehrer in the starting XI — or at least we hope he does.
Manuel Neuer, as usual, will take his place between the sticks. Here’s what a potential lineup could look like:
Obviously, this lineup image makes tons of assumptions about who Flick will choose, because there are just so many options available. So comment below! Who would YOU start for Germany against England tomorrow?
Here’s Bild’s lineup prediction for your consideration. They ALSO seem to think that Musiala will start, so let’s hope they’re right about that.