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Germany vs Japan – Possible Line-Ups: Japan seek to repeat their feat from November

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar remains in the memory of the German football public and especially, today’s opponent, Japan, will evoke painful memories of the Qatari adventure of the DFB team in November 2023. In the first of the autumn international matches, Germany need to produce a result in order to acquiesce the public and to restore some much-needed confidence.

Where to watch Germany vs Japan

The game will be played on Saturday, 9 September 2023 in the Volkswagen Arena in Wolfsburg; kick-off is at 7:45 pm, UK time. The game will be broadcast via in the United States, Viaplay Sports 2 in the United Kingdom and DAZN in Canada.

Team News: Germany

The German national coach Hansi Flick finds himself under immense pressure: the results were not satisfactory and it does not get easier. That things need to change, Flick has acknowledged and he has adapted his team and the system he wants to play. As a first measure, he has withdrawn Joshua Kimmich to the right-back position. Additionally, he is no longer captain; Ilkay Gündogan will subsequently wear the armband. Flick’s idea is to set up his starting XI so that Gündogan‘s abilities are better used as they were so far.

Besides the question of the captaincy, Flick is spoilt for choices when it comes to picking a goalkeeper. Thanks to his outstanding performances for Brighton & Hove Albion in the early part of the season, Pascal Gross has earned his first-ever call-up to the German national team. He will be joined by the uncapped goalkeeper, Oliver Baumann. However, there is also Marc ter Stegen who is likely to start.

Unfortunately, Niclas Fullkrug, last season’s Bundesliga top scorer, had to withdraw from the squad due to a minor injury. In his place, the experienced 121-cap veteran, Thomas Muller, has been called in to replace Borussia Dortmund’s new striker.

Additionally, Hansi Flick has included a trio of promising young talents in the squad, namely Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala, and Kevin Schade. This decision has meant that established stars like Marco Reus, Timo Werner, Mario Gotze, and Leon Goretzka will not be part of the squad this time around.

Possible Line-up for Germany

In goal Flick can choose between Gross and Baumann while the rest of the starting eleven is pretty much given due to injuries to key players such as Niklas Füllkrug, who will be replaced by Thomas Müller. Also absent will be Jamal Musiala due to an injury. Other big names were left out by Flick include Marco Reus, Timo Werner, Leon Goretzka and Mario Götze.

At the back, there will be Kimmich, Süle and Rüdiger. In midfield Gündogan as playmaker, Sané, Can and possibly Brandt, while Thomas Müller may fill any space that opens upon the pitch to unsettle the Japanese defense. Up front, Kai Havertz may get a start as may Kevin Schade.

Team News: Japan

While beating Germany at the World Cup was a success it was, however, short-lived as they lost against Croatia on penalties in the first knock-out in Qatar. Their performance since reads: three wins, two draws and only one defeat.

Japan come to Wolfsburg and intend to repeat their feat from November. For national coach Hajime Morisayu, Germany are still a top team and playing against the four-time world champions will present a stern test for his team.

Possible Line-up for Japan

Turning our attention to Japan, it appears that Premier League talents like Kaoru Mitoma, Takehiro Tomiyasu, and Wataru Endo are poised to make appearances in the starting lineup this Saturday. Meanwhile, the attacking front may see Celtic’s Kyogo Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda given the opportunity to shine. Notably, five members of Japan’s squad ply their trade in Germany, with players such as Ko Itakura from Borussia Monchengladbach, Ritsu Doan from Freiburg, and Hiroki Ito from Stuttgart.

The Return of Thomas Müller

The injury of Niklas Füllkrug meant that Hansi Flick had to react and recall Thomas Müller to the national squad. There is no guarantee for Müller to start, however, but he has shown resilience at Bayern in recent months and made his way back into the team at his club. Therefore, he will be involved in the game tonight and his inclusion may prove crucial. Flick needs a positive result and Müller has shown throughout his career that he is there when it matters.

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