Could Jamal Musiala start once again for Hansi Flick as Germany continue their quest for a place at the 2022 FIFA World Cup when they host Romania in qualifying on Friday (kick-off: 8.45pm CEST)?
Musiala, 18, got an assist on his only senior start to date for Die Mannschaft as they beat Liechtenstein 2-0 in Flick’s first match in charge after taking over from Joachim Löw. The Bayern Munich midfielder has made an excellent start to the season under Flick’s own successor, Julian Nagelsmann, with four goals in 10 competitive appearances and some stellar performances. The same can also be said for another teenager, Florian Wirtz, at Bayer Leverkusen. He’s also been part of the senior national team since UEFA Euro 2020 and has had a direct hand in at least one goal in all eight of his club appearances this season, chalking up six goals and a Bundesliga-leading five assists. The headline squad news for the October internationals was that Mats Hummels has been rested as he continues his comeback from a knee injury. Captain Manuel Neuer and Thomas Müller remain the seasoned international experts in a squad blending youth and experience – although the goalkeeper has been ruled out with a groin problem – as the four-time world champions look to build on their 4-0 win in Iceland a month ago, with four games to go.
Romania are currently third in Group J, five points off Germany but only one behind Armenia in second. They head to Hamburg’s Volksparkstadion for this fixture on the back of a goalless draw in North Macedonia in the last international break. Dragos Nedelcu is the only member of the visiting squad to ply his trade in Germany, starting four games at centre-back for Fortuna Düsseldorf in Bundesliga 2 this season. Playmaker Alexandru Maxim is one of the senior members of this Romania side and a familiar face to Bundesliga viewers after 165 league appearances for Mainz and VfB Stuttgart over seven years. The Tricolorii are yet to beat Die Mannschaft in three competitive meetings or win at all against them on German soil. They lost the reverse fixture in qualifying 1-0 in Bucharest after Serge Gnabry’s 16th-minute goal in March.
- In Wirtz, Musiala, Karim Adeyemi and Nico Schlotterbeck, Flick has called up four players still eligible for Germany’s U21s.
- Wirtz has contributed six goals and five assists for Leverkusen this season at a rate of one every 47 minutes he has played.
- Germany have a perfect record of three games played, three won, 12 goals scored, and none conceded since Flick succeeded Löw as coach.
- Bayern midfielder Leon Goretzka has contributed four assists in Flick’s reign, matching Chelsea forward Timo Werner’s goal involvement (two goals, two assists).
- Germany lead Romania in their all-time head-to-heads with nine wins to two, with three draws. Die Mannschaft have scored 39 goals in their fixtures, conceding 18.
- Nedelcu is the only Romanian currently playing in Germany, with Düsseldorf. Maxim previously made 140 Bundesliga appearances with Stuttgart and Mainz.
Germany: Ter Stegen – Hofmann, Süle, Rüdiger, Kehrer – Kimmich (c), Goretzka – Sane, Reus, Gnabry – Werner
Out: Neuer (groin)
Coach: Hansi Flick
Romania: Nita – Manea, Chiriches (c), Nedelcearu, Tosca – Nedelcu, Stanciu – Hagi, Cicaldau, Maxim – Keseru
Coach: Mirel Radoi