Joachim Löw managed to replace Kai Havertz against Hungary, immediately after he scored 1: 1. It is even more difficult to imagine that the national coach will do without the man who later managed to save 2-2 in the round of 16 against England. So Leon Goretzka can be expected this Tuesday (6 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the European Football Championship, on ARD and MagentaTV) at Wembley Stadium – and that’s pretty good news for the national team and their coach.
So far not too many impulses have come from the center at this EM, and Goretzka is the one who could change that: the man with and for the heart in the German game. It is practical for Löw that the necessary swap candidate comes up almost automatically: Ilkay Gündogan was initially unable to train with the team after a bruised skull from the Hungary game.
He was there again on Monday, but a break could be justified without further ado, especially since Gündogan has so far – see above – not ensured depth of field. There should be no question that Thomas Müller will return to the starting XI after his capsule injury, which he promoted to “shelved” status on Saturday.
Which system does Löw choose?
So everything like against France and Portugal, only with Goretzka instead of Gündogan? Most of the suspicions on Monday pointed in this direction. But maybe it’s worth taking a closer look at the outsider tip. The duel with England could use Loew to return from the 3-4-3 formation to a 4-3-3 (or 4-2-3-1).
A possible starting point would be the constellation in the outer positions, especially on the left, where Robin Gosens could – for example – deal with Phil Foden. That is an idea that could worry the national coach. Especially since, according to Löw, Gosens is struggling with a “minor infection”.
Perhaps it would be better to take a completely different approach this time: To secure on the outside, instead of daring an offensive there, and to look for gaps from the center, with Goretzka and also with Joshua Kimmich. The second half against Hungary wasn’t the (slightly) better for nothing.
Much has been said about the extent to which the game of the English now suits the Germans more. Perhaps the advocates of the everything will be different thesis are right and wrong at the same time: wrong, because the English might be inclined to approach the matter patiently for their part, as has been the case with the EM up to now. Right, because they may not have the same attitude as the Hungarians did. Should a gateway open there – Goretzka and Kimmich would definitely know how to use it.