National coach Hansi Flick starts the first game of the supposed “core team” for the 2024 home European Championship with Joshua Kimmich as right-back.
As expected, the 28-year-old from FC Bayern will move into the defensive line for the game in Wolfsburg against Japan. Flick told broadcaster RTL before kick-off that he had spoken to Kimmich for a long time: "He said he was doing it, also in the interests of the team. He is an absolute team player." The defense is completed by returnees Niklas Süle, Antonio Rüdiger and Nico Schlotterbeck.
When he has possession of the ball, Kimmich should move to the six-man position, Flick announced: "What he can play even better." In midfield, Emre Can will play the more defensive role behind the new captain Ilkay Gündogan. Munich's Leroy Sané, Serge Gnabry and playmaker Florian Wirtz play behind England professional Kai Havertz as the central striker.
Flick had announced that, after the weak performances in June, he would experiment with formation and personnel from September onwards to let the team get in, which should play a key role in the home tournament next summer.
The German lineup:
ter Stegen - Kimmich, Süle, Rüdiger, Schlotterbeck - Can, Gündogan - Sané, Wirtz, Gnabry - Havertz