As the switch from club to national team football is complete with yesterday’s Champions League final, the DFB Express takes a look at the injury trouble within the German squad and Sunday evening’s friendly against Slovakia.
Heads up, fans of the German national team: the Weltmeister is already in action from 17:45 CET today, facing Slovakia in Augsburg. Seven players will be missing the first pre-Euro friendly, among them Mats Hummels, whose participation in the opening Euro match looks increasingly unlikely.
Hummels to miss opener
Following his muscle fiber tear in the DFB-Pokal final against his future club Bayern Munich, Mats Hummels seems to be running out of time. While it had previously been named a precautionary measure, he is now quite likely to miss Germany’s first Euro game on June 12 against the Ukraine in Lille. Even the second match (June 16, versus Poland) is questionable.
The centre-back’s current situation sees him days away from re-entering running training. Despite his bad luck, Joachim Löw is quite certain to nominate Hummels for the final 23-man squad and hopes he will be able to help the team upon his return.
His replacement for the time being is being searched among Benedikt Höwedes, Antonio Rüdiger and Shkodran Mustafi.
Another player hurt is Karim Bellarabi. During Germany’s 7:1 victory against their own U20 team in Ascona’s training camp, the Bayer Leverkusen man suffered a muscle strain. While his chances to make the final squad take a slight hit, it is an opportunity for his club teammate Julian Brandt and Schalke’s Leroy Sané to shine in his absence.
Joachim Löw announced he is willing to give both at least 45 minutes of playing time against Slovakia. The same goes for defensive midfielders Julian Weigl and Joshua Kimmich. Kimmich had previously been seen filling the right-back position in training.
A total of seven players stays in Switzerland at the end of the day. Aside from Hummels and Bellarabi, those are Manuel Neuer, Thomas Müller, Mesut Özil (all break), captain Bastian Schweinsteiger (about to join team training) and Marco Reus (adductors).
All things combined, it leaves Löw with a 20-man squad this Sunday of which four players will likely have to go home afterwards. Showtime for the youngsters!
Slovakia has their own Euro preparation going on, as they will face England, Russia and Wales in an attempt to make it to the round of 16. kicker predicts the following lineup for the Eastern Europeans:
Kozacik – Pekarik, Skrtel, Durica, Svento – Kucka, Pecovsky – Mak, Hamsik, Weiss – Duris.
Fans of the Bundesliga will be familiar with right-back Peter Pekarik in particular, who plays his club football for Hertha BSC. His counterpart on the left, Dusan Svento, is under contract in Köln, but did not play much during the past season.
[su_label] Post editor: Ryan[/su_label]