Germany host Japan at the Volkswagen Arena in Wolfsburg on Friday evening with Joshua Kimmich set to play a new role under Hansi Flick.
The Bayern Munich player is expected to play the role of inverted right-back, with Kimmich moving into midfield when in possession. Flick has taken inspiration from Pep Guardiola and his use of John Stones.
Flick has already confirmed that Niklas Süle will start against Japan, but has praised the development of Milan’s Malick Thiaw, who is expected to play a big role in the national setup in the future- the former Schalke central-defender is highly regarded in the Germany camp.
Ilkay Gündogan, who has now been named as Germany’s captain, is expected to start alongside Emre Can while Serge Gnabry, Florian Wirtz and Leroy Sané should start behind Kai Havertz. The Arsenal man is expected to be Germany’s No. 9 following the withdrawal of Niclas Füllkrug- Flick nominated Thomas Müller as a replacement for the Borussia Dortmund forward.
READ | Preview – Germany vs Japan
It’s been a long time coming, but Brighton’s Pascal Groß could also make his Germany debut at some point tonight. There’s an argument that the 32-year-old should have been a regular in the Germany squad over the last few years.
The upcoming games against Japan and France feel significant to the future of Flick.
Predicted Germany XI vs Japan
Marc-André ter Stegen – Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Süle. Antonio Rüdiger, Nico Schlotterbeck – Emre Can, Ilkay Gündogan – Serge Gnabry, Florian Wirtz, Leroy Sané – Kai Havertz.
GGFN | Daniel Pinder