Update — Tuesday, September 12th, 11:45AM EDT: France will play without Kylian Mbappe
A small sliver of hope for Germany? France will be without chief striker Kylian Mbappe, giving the backline at least a modicum of breathing room. Of course, the Germans will still be massive underdogs going into this. It just makes the game a little less one-sided.
Kylian Mbappé will start on the bench against Germany tonight due to a knee discomfort [@lequipe]— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) September 12, 2023
Update — Tuesday, September 12th, 7:20AM EDT: Right-back experiment over for Kimmich
It looks like Bayern Munich star Joshua Kimmich is, indeed, planned to play in midfield, but to be honest ... it would be better for Bayern Munich if he doesn’t play.
Hansi Flick is gone, becoming the first ever coach in the 123-year history of the DFB to be sacked. Now essentially leaderless, Germany will have to take on arguably the best national team in the world while still licking the wounds from Saturday’s 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Japan.
Rudi Völler is the man tasked with averting disaster on Tuesday. Can he keep the French at bay, or will the Germans suffer another crushing defeat?
Jamal Musiala remains sidelined for this game despite initial hopes that he could return in time — probably not a good idea to expose him to the chaos at the DFB for the moment. Meanwhile Niklas Süle had to leave the German camp earlier to attend the birth of his second child per Sport1, but he could still be an option for the starting XI. Joshua Kimmich is also struggling with muscular problems, while on the other side of the fence Dayot Upamecano is doubtful as well. Not a great week for Bayern Munich fans.
Changes are expected from the Japan game, but it’s hard to say what those changes will be. German outlet kicker gave it a go, with their predicted lineup:
While dropping Kai Havertz makes sense, it seems strange for Thomas Müller to start without the captain’s armband — Völler confirmed in the presser that İlkay Gündoğan would remain the captain for now. The German captaincy has always gone in order of seniority, so either that rule is being broken, or Müller is not going to start against France.
Florian Wirtz and Leroy Sané were two of the only players who were any good against Japan, so it makes sense that they’d keep their place in the starting XI. Joining them seems to be Borusssia Dortmund’s Julian Brandt, a player who has never quite been able to impress in the livery of his national team. Maybe that could change under new management?
Gündoğan could team up with Joshua Kimmich in midfield, but this might make the Germans rather vulnerable to the incredibly potent attack that France possesses. The defense, likely to be composed of Antonio Rüdiger and Malik Thiaw flanked by Robin Gosens (no Nico Schlotterbeck, thank god!) and Benjamin Henrichs, could find itself exposed in such a setup. If that happens, it’ll all fall to Marc-André ter Stegen to act as a last line of defense.
That’s really all that can be said for now. Rudi Völler gave no clues about his lineup in the press conference. If you were Germany coach right now, who would you start?
Can’t get enough Germany analysis? Then check out the newest episode of our podcast! We talk about the circumstances surrounding Hansi Flick’s sacking, what a potential replacement needs to fix, and whether this current generation of German talent is any good to begin with. Listen to it below or on Spotify.
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