On Tuesday night, Germany and Belgium square off in a friendly game of giants in Cologne.
Recently, the German national football team, managed by Hansi Flick, has been using friendly matches to experiment with new players and tactics. In their game against Peru, they tried out a new 4-2-2-2 formation, which proved successful as they won comfortably, with Niclas Fullkrug scoring a brace in the first half.
Germany’s recent form in friendlies has been impressive, with them going unbeaten in their last 13 matches. However, it’s important to note that their final defeat came at the hands of Austria in 2018.
Although Germany has recently had a mixed record in major international tournaments, their success in the Euro 2024 tournament is long overdue. With the game being held on their home turf, they will undoubtedly have the support of their passionate fans, which could make all the difference in their bid for the title.
Germany Form (All Competitions): W L D W W
Romelu Lukaku put in a superb display in Belgium’s recent match against Sweden, putting his infamous World Cup horror display against Croatia firmly behind him.
His deft header gave Belgium the lead in the first half before he scored a pair of tap-ins, securing the match ball for the Chelsea striker. His performance injected much-needed confidence into the team.
While Belgium has temporarily put their competitive commitments on hold, the manager will be pleased with their recent form in friendly matches.
Their last close game before the World Cup resulted in a 2-1 loss to Egypt, ending a 17-game unbeaten streak in exhibition contests stretching back to a 1-0 loss to Spain in 2016.
However, despite this loss, Belgium remains a formidable team in friendly matches, with a strong record over the past few years. Their recent performance against Germany in a 2-1 win underlines their quality and highlights their potential for future success.
Belgium Form (All Competitions): L W L D W
During Germany’s recent match against Peru, Nico Schlotterbeck was forced off the pitch due to a thigh injury. Although manager Hansi Flick confirmed that it was only a precautionary measure, Schlotterbeck was sent home from the squad.
Following their recent romping victory over Sweden, manager Tedesco confirmed no injury concerns amongst the players.
Germany’s expected starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Wolf, Ginter, Thiaw, Raum; Kimmich, Goretzka; Gnabry, Gotze; Werner, Fullkrug
Belgium’s expected starting lineup:
Casteels; Castagne, Faes, Vertonghen. Theate; Onana; Lukebakio, De Bruyne, Carrasco; Trossard, Lukaku
Head to Head
The two national teams have met on 25 occasions, with Germany emerging as the dominant side, winning 20 matches.
Belgium has only won four matches against Germany, with one game ending in a draw.
Time, Date & Venue
Date: Tuesday, March 28
Time: 06:45 pm, UTC
Venue: Rhein Energie Stadium, Cologne
While both teams will undoubtedly be competitive on the pitch, the result of the friendly is unlikely to be of major importance to either Flick or Tedesco.
Rather, the match will allow both managers to experiment with different tactics and personnel and gain valuable insights into their players’ fitness and form ahead of the resumption of competitive fixtures.