Four-time World Cup champions Germany are to test their squad’s bench strength in a key international friendly against hosts Oman in Muscat on Wednesday.
Coach Hansi Flick, who have won in nine games out of 15 after taking charge, was also part of World Cup winning squad of 2014. Flick was the assistant coach of Joachim Loew by then.
Talking at the pre-match press conference at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, the German coach sounded confident of a solid performance in the World Cup.
In reply to a query, Flick said surprise inclusion of 2014 final hero Mario Goetze was a deserved one after the player’s great form in the domestic league.
“Goetze is a fantastic player. I can still see the flare in him after his goal in the World Cup final against Argentina. He is a value addition to the squad.”
“We have a balanced squad. Though we lost some top players due to injury, talent is abundant in this squad. I have confidence in the players and we are ready for the World Cup challenge, the 57-year-old affirmed.
The German coach is likely to give a chance to Goetze in the match against Oman to give a warning to the other Group E teams Spain, Japan and Costa Rica.
Goetze, employed as a ‘super substitute’ by Loew, makes the comeback to the national squad after five years.
On the organisers Qatar, Flick said the tournament is expected to be big success.
“Qatar as the organisers of the 2022 World Cup has done a great job. With brilliant facilities and stadiums it is expected to be a successful World Cup.”
Germany forward Niclas Fullkrug of Werder Bremen, said they expect a good competition against Oman.
“We don’t have any idea of Oman football, but know that Oman is a competitive team. We expect a strong match tomorrow,” Fullkrug said.
“We will focus on our own build-up to the World Cup. It will be good match experience for Germany team just before the World Cup.”
Fullkrug earned a call up to the squad after scoring 10 goals in 14 Bundesliga games for the promoted Werder Bremen.
Germany defender Christian Gunter of SC Freiburg said they believe the team is capable of an impressive run in Qatar.
“We are confident of good performance in the World Cup. The players are capable of delivering another world title,” he claimed.
Also expected to show up in Muscat will be teen sensation Youssoufa Moukoko who will make his senior international debut.
The 17-year-old forward of Borussia Dortmund has been impressive with six goals and making 22 appearances for the club.
Captain Manuel Nuer and Jamal Musaila, who had a productive Bundesliga season until now, are also expected to brush off their credentials against Oman ahead of the World Cup challenge.
Star forward Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan among other stalwarts make the squad a formidable one for the football showdown.
Germany World Cup 2022 squad
Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona)
Thilo Kehrer (West Ham), Niklas Sule (Borussia Dortmund), Lukas Klostermann (RB Leipzig), Christian Gunter (SC Freiburg), Armel Bella-Kotchap (Southampton), David Raum (RB Leipzig), Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid), Nico Schlotterbeck (Borussia Dortmund), Matthias Ginter (Freiburg)
Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Mario Gotze (Eintracht Frankfurt), Jonas Hofmann (Borussia Monchengladbach), Julian Brandt (Borussia Dortmund), Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Kai Havertz (Chelsea), Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich)
Leroy Sane (Bayern Munich), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich), Karim Adeyemi (Borussia Dortmund), Niclas Fullkrug (Werder Bremen), Youssoufa Moukoko (Borussia Dortmund).