PREVIEW | Germany vs Hungary, UEFA Nations League

Germany host Hungary in Leipzig on Friday evening in the UEFA Nations League. Hansi Flick is yet to lose any of his 13 games in charge but after winning his first eight, Germany had four successive 1-1 draws against the Netherlands, Italy, England and Hungary before beating Italy 5-2 on June 14.

In preparation for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, it’s important that Flick and Germany put in impressive performances against Hungary on Friday and England on Monday with players looking to be a member of Flick’s squad in November.

Already Flick has had to deal with a host of absentees. Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer and Leon Goretzka tested positive for Covid-19 and are in isolation. Oliver Baumann and Max Arnold replaced the duo. Julian Brandt has also withdrawn from the squad with flu. After being called up, Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus suffered an ankle injury in their 1-0 derby win against Schalke prior to the international break and is sidelined for around three weeks. Benjamin Henrichs his replacement in the squad.

Flick has already stated that Marc-André ter Stegen will start in goal against Hungary as they look to beat Marco Rossi’s side at the third attempt. In the build up to the game, Flick has also heavily praised Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala, who recently operated as a No. 6 for Germany, but can also pose a threat further forward. With Neuer absent, Flick also left it open as to who will captain the Germany squad for these two games.

A win for Hungary would see them secure a spot in the Nations League finals.

Team News

Flick has operated in a 4-2-3-1 in 12 of his 13 games in charge and despite several absentees, we can expect to see something similar on Friday night. In his pre-match press conference, Flick stated that Germany’s goal is to finish as group winners and so he’s expected to field a strong team. Armel Bella-Kotchap received his first call-up but won’t be in the starting XI. Musiala is available after a recent knock.

Rossi’s Hungary is likely to field a 3-4-3 but are without Freiburg’s Roland Sallai. The Germany squad know Dominik Szoboszlai, currently playing for RB Leipzig, and with Willi Orban and Attila Szalai operating ahead of ‘keeper Péter Gulácsi, Germany must be at their best to penetrate the Hungary defence. This is a Hungary squad that’s already caused problems.

Probable XIs

Germany: ter Stegen – Hofmann, Süle, Rüdiger, Raum – Gundogan, Kimmich – Havertz, Müller, Sane – Werner

Hungary: Gulácsi – Lang, Orban, At. Szalai – Fiola, Nagy, Styles, Kerkez – Szoboszlai, Gazdag – Ad. Szalai

Daniel Pinder

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