After last month’s UEFA Nations League opener against France, Germany are on the road to face the Netherlands and France as the competition hots up. Die Nationalmannschaft are first up against the Oranje in Amsterdam, before they head to Paris to take on the reigning world champions.
This is arguably the biggest test for coach Joachim Löw after the disappointment of this summer’s World Cup, and two wins will surely be the objective.
Both opponents offer a different set of challenges. As World Cup winners, Didier Deschamps‘ French side are the team to beat. Meanwhile, the Netherlands are on an upward curve after failing to reach the last to major tournament finals. Them, of course, there is the additional layer of good old-fashioned rivalries.
There has been plenty of criticism of this new “filler” tournament, but it is fair to say that the opening round of matches had a definite competitive edge.
This is the 31st meeting between Germany and France, hot on the back of last month’s 30th meeting in Munich. Germany have won on ten occasions – including the famous penalty shootout in the World Cup in Spain in 1982, the French thirteen times, with seven draws.
The last time the Germans were in the French capital, they fell to a two-goal defeat – but there was a bigger and far less pleasant story. On that evening in Paris, football became a secondary story. After that, there was the defeat by the same scoreline in the semi-final of Euro 2016, which took place in Marseille.
To find Germany’s last win on French soil, one has to go back to February 2013, when the team captained by Philipp Lahm edged Les Bleus 2-1.
The last game against the Netherlands should have taken place in Hannover on 17th November 2015, but the match was abandoned followed the earlier incident in Paris and a bomb threat in the Lower Saxon capital. One has to go back to November 2012 to find the last encounter between the two old rivals, which resulted in a goalless draw in Amsterdam.
This will be the Nationalmannschaft’s 41st meeting with the Dutch. In the previous 40, they have recorded 15 wins, with 15 draws and ten defeats.
There are a couple of enforced changes to the 23-man squad that took on France and Peru last month, with one new face.
New boy Uth
Eintracht Frankfurt’s Kevin Trapp rejoins the goalkeeping cadre, while Bayer 04 Leverkusen defender Jonathan Tah is in the Under-21 squad. Further up the field, İlkay Gündoğan is out after pulling a hamstring in Manchester City’s Champions League tie against Hoffenheim, along with SC Freiburg’s Nils Petersen, who is also on the recovery trail. In their place are the recalled Sebastian Rudy and the team’s latest addition, Schalke 04 striker Mark Uth.
Should Uth make his international bow in Amsterdam, he will become the 941st player to wear the Nationaltrikot.
Manuel Neuer (FC Bayern München, 80/0)
Marc-André ter Stegen (FC Barcelona, 21/0)
Kevin Trapp (Paris Saint-Germain, 3/0)
Jérôme Boateng (FC Bayern München, 75/1)
Matthias Ginter (Borussia Mönchengladbach, 20/0)
Jonas Hector (1. FC Köln , 40/3)
Mats Hummels (FC Bayern München, 67/5)
Thilo Kehrer (Paris Saint-Germain, 1/0)
Antonio Rüdiger (Chelsea FC, 27/1)
Nico Schulz (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, 1/1)
Niklas Süle (FC Bayern München, 13/0)
Julian Brandt (Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 20/2)
Julian Draxler (Paris Saint-Germain, 47/6)
Leon Goretzka (FC Bayern München, 17/6)
Kai Havertz (Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 1/0)
Joshua Kimmich (FC Bayern München, 34/3)
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid CF, 88/13)
Thomas Müller (FC Bayern München, 96/38)
Marco Reus (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 36/10)
Sebastian Rudy (FC Schalke 04, 26/1)
Leroy Sané (Manchester City, 13/0)
Mark Uth (FC Schalke 04, 0/0)
Timo Werner (RB Leipzig, 19/8)