Hansi Flick faces his first major test as Germany head coach on Tuesday as Die Mannschaft travel to Amsterdam to face their rivals, the Netherlands.
So far Germany have played 8 and won 8 under Flick, scoring 33 goals and conceding just two in the process. It’s been a fantastic start for the ex-Bayern head coach but some critics have pointed out that his side hasn’t come across any top international side just yet.
In fact, the highest-ranked team that Flick’s side have come across so far is Romania who currently sit 47th in the men’s FIFA world rankings.
The Netherlands, who are coached by the experienced Louis Van Gaal have qualified for this year’s World Cup after navigating a tricky group. Their most recent match also saw them put four past Euro 2020 semi-finalists, Denmark.
Germany can expect a different Netherlands side who are trying something different from their traditional 4-3-3. Speaking in a press conference last week, Van Gaal explained that his side will be trying new formations including a three-man defence. This is also the reason for Freiburg goalkeeper Mark Flekken receiving his first international call-up.
It’s expected that the Freiburg number one will start against a number of his Bundesliga colleagues on Tuesday evening.
As for Germany, Flick has already told the media that there will be starts for Manuel Neuer and Antonio Rüdiger. There may also be a starting XI place for the young Jamal Musiala who continued to impress against Israel last Saturday. Speaking on Monday, Flick said: “Jamal is a free-spirited player. It’s a consideration to have him play like he did in the second half against Israel and have him start again.”
Similar to his coach, this will be Musiala’s first big international test against strong opposition.
Though the World Cup isn’t due to kick off until November, this will be Germany’s first real test to see where they land in comparison to others who will all be bidding to be crowned world champions this year.
By Jamie Allen