ESPN’s Bundesliga chief commentator Derek Rae details how the domestic league is laying the groundwork for Germany’s World Cup squad as he looks ahead to a round that will end the club’s calendar year.
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We already knew Thursday would be the decision day National institution Manager Hans Flick, but there are always some who may encounter heartwarming stories while others may encounter unwelcome surprises.
Attacking, Germany have been looking for a top-level solution for years, and Flick decided to pick two in-form players of the opposite age group who wouldn’t necessarily have been on the radar a few months ago.
Niclas Fullkrug, 29, doesn’t have the glamorous physique of a modern footballer, but he has a knack in front of goal. That’s more than the 10 he has scored for Werder Bremen this season, five of them in the final five minutes of the game and three in the air. Fullkrug may have zero international experience, but he’s a seasoned professional, a first-team leader, a spotlight and, frankly, the kind of gritty old man Germany needs in certain World Cup situations.
Like Forkruger, 17-year-old Yusofa Mukoko wasn’t guaranteed to make the squad at the start of the season, but the Borussia Dortmund starlet is in perfect shape and hopes to land Flick ‘s approval.He boosted his career with a sparkling brace in last week’s 2-0 win over VfL Bochum, and has other big Bundesliga moments, such as in Revell Derby And a key goal in bringing Dortmund back into contention in a 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich.
Injuries to Timo Werner and Lucas Nmecha over the past few days have helped cement the judgment in their favour.
You have to be a mediocrity to hide the addition of Mario Gotze, who inscribed his name in German football folklore and whose goal is to win the 2014 World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro. Gotze has not played for Germany for five years and his initial absence was rooted in health problems.
A spell in the Netherlands at PSV has boosted his confidence, but a summer move to Europa League champions Eintracht Frankfurt is what really made the 30-year-old come alive. Eintracht Frankfurt signed Gotze to help break down defensive opponents, and Flick pointed to his quality and ability to play multiple games in a row this season, praising his great personality.
Obviously, if Marco Reus can physically win the race against time, he’ll be on the roster. Reus has been the most unfortunate high-profile German player of his generation, missing major tournaments in 2014, 2016, 2021 and now 2022.
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Frick also clearly explained the situation with Florian Wirtz. The Bayer Leverkusen talent has only just returned to training after missing most of the year with a torn ACL and would benefit more from staying at Leverkusen. self And prepare for the restart in January. A common-sense decision, as it would be foolish to send him back.
Opinions are divided over veteran guard Mats Hummels. The 33-year-old had a fantastic season at Dortmund but failed to qualify. Outlining his rationale, Flick said the coaching staff generally believes in focusing on the future. It is worth keeping in mind that Germany will host Euro 2024 and is expected to be one of the candidates to win. The game experience of young players now can pay off handsomely later.
Antonio Rudiger is the captain of the defence and, in Flick’s own words, the Germans have a man of pace and tenacity in Nico Schlottbeck (Hummels’ Dortmund teammate). Flick denied that Hummels’ tendency to make outright criticism when his team is underperforming has anything to do with it. It’s a big decision, but Hummels has lost his rhythm and is set to be the fifth-choice centre-back, there’s no point in having such a low-level senior figure.
There are plenty of other good options in this position, although Southampton’s Amel Bella-Kochap could be seen as a surprise, as well as Leipzig’s Lucas Klostermann, who has been injured due to injury Did not play after the first game. Klostermann’s versatility has been the deciding factor here, as right-back remains a relatively weak position for Germany. It might also help that Niklas Sule recently played for BVB.
There were no shocks from the goalkeeper’s side, with Manuel Neuer and Marc-Andre ter Stegen joined by Eintracht Frankfurt’s Kevin Trapp. Flick said that, unlike other countries who choose four goalkeepers, he felt three would suffice in this case.
If there’s one player who could be a wild card for Germany, it’s Dortmund’s Karim Adeyemi. In Flick’s words, his ability to cut from the right to his left foot, combined with his speed and finish, makes him a “weapon”.
Bayern’s Thomas Muller will play a key role in his fourth World Cup and Flick wants to include him in a pre-match friendly against Oman despite being currently on the injured list.minus Mueller, Germany Recode Meister Gnabry made headlines with a comfortable 6-1 win over Werder Bremen on Tuesday, scoring a hat-trick against his former club.Bayern guaranteed entry winter stop Topping the table, Union Berlin lost their advantage twice against Augsburg and had to draw 2-2.
Dortmund lost 2-0 to Wolfsburg and has now been overtaken on goal difference by in-form RB Leipzig, who beat third-placed 3-1 of SC Freiburg. Eintracht Frankfurt remained fourth after the attacking quarter against Hoffenheim, with outstanding contributions from Gotze, Randall Khlo Muani and especially the irresistible Jesper Lindstrom.
After three days of Bundesliga games, the seemingly never-ending competition will finally come to a halt on Sunday. Most importantly, Flick has to hope that each of his 26 players can avoid injury this weekend.