In their first friendly of this season, Germany hosts Japan as they hope to turn their fortunes around after a string of poor performances in June.
In June, Germany played three friendlies against Ukraine, Poland and Colombia. Against Ukraine in Bremen, they drew 3-3 where they had to come from behind. Against Poland, they lost 1-0 in Warsaw before losing once again to Colombia 2-0 in Gelsenkirchen.
In every friendly since the World Cup, the same issues continue to arise for Germany. The first is their lack of quality at full-back, it is reported that Joshua Kimmich could be moved to right-back but then that means one of Germany’s best players is being shoehorned into a defensive position. The same can be said for the left-back position, where David Raum has not looked convincing and Robin Gosens is not a natural left-back.
The second issue is Germany’s lack of a quality number nine. Niclas Füllkrug has done a good job when called upon and looks a better option than Kai Havertz but Füllkrug is not the type of striker who will be able to win Germany games and help them progress deep in international competitions.
The Japan team has some familiar faces to Bundesliga fans in their squad. Players such as Ko Itakura (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Hiroki Ito (VfB Stuttgart), Takuma Asano (Bochum), Ritsu Doan (Freiburg) and Ao Tanaka (Fortuna Düsseldorf). While Wataru Endo (Liverpool) and Daichi Kamada (Lazio) both plied their trade in the Bundesliga until this summer.
The last meeting between these two was in Qatar, where Japan came out 2-1 winners. Germany opened the scoring thanks to an İlkay Gündoğan penalty before goals from Doan and Asano hindered Germany’s chances of making it out of the group.
ter Stegen – Kimmich, Süle, Rüdiger, Gosens – Gündoğan, Can – Gnabry, Wirtz, Sané – Havertz
Schmidt- Sugawara, Itakura, Taniguchi, Ito – Endo, Morita – Kuba, Kamada, Mitoma – Ueda
GGFN | Jack Meenan