While it is just a predicted formation from kicker, there is some speculation building that Germany coach could be borrowing a trick that his successor at Bayern Munich, Julian Nagelsmann, used to start the season — a 4-2-2-2 formation.
With a battalion of young players called up to prove their mettle, Flick is searching for the best ways to use them. One of the options is the 4-2-2-2, which Bayern Munich played with successfully in the early stages of this season:
Because the matches against Peru and Belgium are just friendlies, Flick has some leeway to mix and match his players around. Let’s take a look at the positional groups predicted to start by kicker:
- Goalkeeper — Marc-André ter Stegen (FC Barcelona): This makes sense with Manuel Neuer injured. It is simply Ter Stegen’s time to take the reins in Neuer’s absence.
- Defense — Mariusz Wolf (Borussia Dortmund), Matthias Ginter (SC Freiburg), Nico Schlotterbeck (Borussia Dortmund), David Raum (RB Leipzig): Right-back has been an ongoing issue for the national team, so trying Wolf there is not a shock. Flick would undoubtedly love to see Wolf (or really anyone) snatch the role and own it as the spot has been a revolving door of players. At left-back, Raum got the nod for his tantalizing offensive skills, but unless he can improve offensively, he will not be able to lock down a consistent starting role. Maybe more than any player, Raum needs to have a good showing to establish himself as a starter. At center-back, Flick is playing it safe with Ginter, a stable veteran, and Schlotterbeck, arguably the most established of the young central defenders that were called up.
- Midfield — Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Emre Can (Borussia Dortmund): Flick knows what he has in Leon Goretzka and is likely just getting a feel for how much progress Can has made this season by having him play alongside Germany’s Golden Boy, Kimmich. Honestly, there are not a ton of options that could fill this role in a 4-2-2-2, so this is about as good as it will get if Flick wants to let Goretzka rest a little bit.
- Attack — Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen), Kai Havertz (Chelsea FC), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig), Niclas Füllkrug (Werder Bremen): This is where things get interesting. The four attackers predicted to start each bring something different to the table, so it should be fascinating to how it all melds. There will be pace, creativity, and the ability to clean up in front of the goal all meshing to together. If not for an injury to Jamal Musiala, we would have gotten to see the Moose-Wirtz combo that so many Germany fans have been salivating over. This should be interesting to watch at a minimum. However, I would expect subs to start rolling in at the 60 minute mark.