Preview | Austria vs Germany

Germany travel to Vienna to face Austria in their final international friendly of the year after they lost 3-2 to Turkey in Berlin on Saturday.

The matchup in Berlin saw Germany throw away an early lead after Kai Havertz opened the scoring in the fifth minute. Just before halftime, Turkey would not only equalise but take the lead through Ferdi Kadioglu and former Bayern Munich youth player Kenan Yildiz. In the second half, Niclas Füllkrug would equalise just after halftime but Turkey would be awarded a penalty in the 71st minute after Havertz handled the ball before Yusuf Sari converted. 

The biggest talking point from the game was the fact that Havertz was deployed as a left-back. The 24-year-old had a mixed game in the position but it seems that he may be deployed in the position once again on Tuesday evening, this is not a good look for David Raum who did not see the pitch despite the Leipzig man being a more competent option on the left to Havertz.

While on the right, Benjamin Henrichs put in a solid performance and gives some hope that a solution has been found at right-back. 

Midfield continues to be an issue for the German national team. Joshua Kimmich had long been heralded as undroppable for Germany but in recent weeks he has lost his place under Julian Nagelsmann as he has preferred to use Leon Goretzka or Pascal Groß next to İlkay Gündoğan. Kimmich’s performance on Saturday once again proved this point and with Nagelsmann unwilling to play the 28-year-old as a right-back the former stalwart’s position has come under major threat at the wrong time. 

What the Turkey game did show was Germany’s attack is probably its strongest point at the moment with Leroy Sané being in the form of his life, Florian Wirtz bringing his Bayer Leverkusen form to the team and Niclas Füllkrug being a reliable option, add a currently injured Jamal Musiala on top of that and these set of attackers will be a big help to Germany.

The game against Austria will be against a team of similar quality to Turkey whilst they also possess a team with several familiar faces whether that be former Bundesliga players or players currently playing in the league. Under former Leipzig coach Ralf Rangnick the national team has been transformed and have given teams such as France and Belgium a run for their money during his tenure.

After the game against Austria, there is one international break left in March to try and hone this team to give Germany the best possible chance of not embarrassing themselves at a home Euros next summer and with several problem areas still yet to be addressed the clock is ticking for Nagelsmann and Germany. 

GGFN | Jack Meenan