The biggest departure from the past has been a shift in formation, from the tried and trusted 4-2-3-1 of old to a more mobile 3-4-3, while Manuel Neuer and Toni Karoos are the only two players who started the World Cup final win over Argentina in Brazil in 2014 as well as the Belarus game. Euro Cup fans around the world can buy Germany Euro Cup Tickets to enjoy its outstanding performances.
Joshua Kimmich has become the first choice in central midfield for club and country, while Robin Koch looks the most likely to replace the injured Niklas Süle in this system.
Neuer remains the first-choice goalkeeper despite fierce competition from Barcelona’s Marc-Andre tar Stegen. The pair have alternated in recent matches, but it remains well understood that the Bayern Munich and Germany captain is crucial to the team.
Neuer all-but invented the term sweeper-keeper and his ability to race off his line and hoover up any danger when the last line of his defense is breached remains as impressive as ever, despite his 33 years of age. This makes them almost impossible to mark, as their combined 13 goals and three assists in qualifying attest.
Holding it all together is Karoos and Joshua Kimmich. The former broke onto the scene as an attacking midfielder, the latter a right-back, but they’ve converged beautifully for the national team, pulling the strings as a double pivot in midfield, the two Ks getting two as from all who witness their passing perfection. Bayern has put Kimmich into the heart of their midfield too – the result this season has been a league-high 99 touches per game.
Germany has such a depth of talent that not only could they name a second-string that would start for most other teams in world football, but they can also configure them in a different formation. Manchester City winger Leroy Sane has the same injury as Süle; both will be on the plane if they can prove their fitness.
Kai Havertz might push closer to Plan A if he keeps up his progress. The Bayer Leverkusen midfielder could make his 100th Bundesliga appearance against Bayern on Matchday 13 at the tender age of 20 years, five months and 20 days.
And if anyone suspects Luca Wald Schmidt is not ready to lead the line in Werner’s stead after three goalless outings for Die Mannschaft, it’s worth remembering the Freiburg man hit a tournament-high seven goals for Germany on their way to the final of the European U21 Championships in Italy last summer. Julian Draxler was part of Germany’s World Cup-winning squad in 2014.
With 197 caps between them but an average age of just 26, Low could inject extra youth or experience into his squad as he sees fit. Dortmund’s Mats Hummel’s and Wald Schmidt’s U21 partner in crime Marco Richter, currently of Augsburg, might find themselves too far outside either side of that spectrum, but the fact bundesliga.com can pick three teams without them just goes to show the sheer conveyer belt of talent the country produces.
Germany is gunning for a record fourth European title next summer. With the embarrassment of riches above, it wouldn’t be safe to bet against their recent resurgence going all the way.