Germany was not the favourites for World Cup 2022 since the team is somewhat a work in progress under former Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick. However, they were expected to have a much better start than they did against Japan on Wednesday. The 2014 World Cup winners suffered a 2-1 defeat against Japan, which has complicated their chances of qualifying for the next round.
The game against Spain this weekend becomes a must-win game for Germany. They cannot afford to drop more points if they want to go deep into the competition. The game against Spain could see a positional change for one Bayern player in the German squad.
Joshua Kimmich could see himself moved into the right-back position for the game against Spain. The German defender has previously played this role to great effect for Germany and Bayern Munich.
While talking to SportBild (via iMiaSanMia), Hansi Flick refused to rule out the possibility of seeing Joshua Kimmich in the right-back position. The German coach had previously insisted that Kimmich would mostly play in the midfield, so the change in tone suggests that Kimmich could get a run out on the right side of the defense.
"“You can assume that we really discuss every personnel detail, every position. It’s our job as a coaching staff to set up the team in a top-class way against the respective opponent if possible. We go onto the pitch with the best team. We do that before every game.”"
Moving Kimmich to the right-back position may add more impetus to Germany’s play in the final third. Niklas Sule is a solid central defender, but his limitations are exposed when he plays as a right-back. He did struggle against Japan, so having a natural right-back may aid Germany’s dynamics in both boxes.
Joshua Kimmich has a very wicked delivery in his locker, so he can consistently create chances when he supports the winger on the right side. He is also a tenacious defender, so Germany will get more stability on the right flank.
Germany will not lose control in central midfield since Ilkay Gundogan will occupy the holding midfield role. He has been excellent in this position for Manchester City in numerous games across different seasons. The former Borussia Dortmund midfielder will allow Germany to control the tempo of the game.
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Kimmich’s move to the right-back position will allow Leon Goretzka to come into the lineup. Goretzka has been in fine goalscoring form for Bayern this season, so having a goal threat in the midfield will be a big bonus for Germany. Flick has previously enjoyed success by using Kimmich in the right-back position at Bayern, so it will not be surprising to use the same approach on Sunday.