National team: Flick's pointers: Last squad before Qatar as a World Cup signal

National team
Flick's pointer: Last squad before Qatar as a World Cup signal

National coach Hansi Flick meets Hungary with the German national team on September 23 and Engla three days later

National coach Hansi Flick meets Hungary with the German national team on September 23 and England three days later. photo

© Federico Gambarini/dpa

When Hansi Flick announces the squad for the final group games of the Nations League, the course will be set for Qatar. Flick has his fixed sizes in mind. But there are still question marks.

Hansi Flick was everywhere. In Madrid. In Milan. In London. And of course he looked at Bayern several times. He sighted, examined and weighed.

Important World Cup signals are expected when the national coach announces his squad for the last competitive games before the big annual test of the German national soccer team at lunchtime on Thursday. Who else has a chance of getting a ticket for Qatar? Ten weeks before the kick-off of the game against Japan at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, who will the national coach ignore?

Flick: "Everyone has to be in top shape at the World Cup"

Does the Rio hero Mario Götze, who dribbled back into view in Frankfurt, still have a chance of a DFB-Comeback? Is Robin Gosens from Inter Milan perhaps a candidate for the permanent construction site at the back left? Especially since David Raum is looking for his top form after moving to RB Leipzig. And is the DFB-Aus for Mats Hummels now officially pronounced? Flick will have to give deep insights into his World Cup plans with his first squad of the season. The tight schedule does not allow for long lead times.

"This year is going to be intense, it's going fast, everyone is aware of that. Of course, we hope that our players can cope well with the strain. Everyone has to be in top shape at the World Cup," Flick recently described in an "RND" interview Requirements. Before his first tournament as DFB head coach, the 57-year-old knows exactly what is important.

Who does not belong to the permanent staff and for the last games for the important group win in the Nations League against leaders Hungary in Leipzig on September 23 and three days later in the classic against England in Wembley, will hardly be on the DFB plane to the Arabian Gulf in November.

The axis of the DFB selection is stationary

Flick's advantage: the large block of the squad, which FIFA expanded from 23 to 26 players, has long been in place. The axis is clearly defined by captain Manuel Neuer, defensive boss Antonio Rüdiger, Joshua Kimmich and Thomas Müller. You come up with almost 20 fixed names pretty quickly. And good signals is there. BVB defender Niklas Süle and Bayern's powerhouse Leon Goretzka are back on track after injuries.

"The World Cup is not in our heads yet," said Goretzka after his energy appearance in the Champions League against FC Barcelona (2-0) on Tuesday evening on Amazon Prime. To add right away, this will certainly change very quickly when we move into the DFB Hotel next Monday outside of Frankfurt.

There are definitely a few question marks for Flick. What about ailing candidates like the new Dortmunder Karim Adeymi after his foot injury? Can his notoriously vulnerable BVB colleague Marco Reus withstand the stresses of October? And how are possible supplementary players like Julian Weigl or Julian Draxler developing at their new clubs Borussia Mönchengladbach and Benfica Lisbon? Anyone who is not yet at the top level like Leverkusen's top talent Florian Wirtz after his cruciate ligament tear will have a hard time.

Flick wants first place in the Nations League group

Large experiments are no longer possible for Flick. Because even against Hungary and England, positive results should definitely be forthcoming. First place in the Nations League group would be fixed with two wins. And that would be important with a view to the EM 2024. As a finalist in June next year, Flick would have two competitive games before the home tournament. It is our claim and our goal that we achieve it. Nothing has been decided in this group yet, everyone is close together. It must be clear to us that we simply have to step it up a notch - or maybe two or three," said the national coach. "We'll try to tease that out of the team."


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