Germany will be without the services of their midfield stalwart Leon Goretzka for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifier coming up against the Netherlands in Hamburg’s Volksparkstadion. The German squad has been ravaged by the injury bug as Julian Draxler, Thilp Kehrer, Leroy Sane and Antonio Rudiger have already been ruled out. The loss of Bayern Munich stalwart Goretzka is a big blow to the team’s hope of knocking Northern Ireland off the top of Group C. Goretzka suffered a major bruise during training on 15th August and he hasn’t been able to recover from it. The German squad’s representatives said that Goretzka will be heading back to Munich because of a ‘haemorrhage’ in his injured area.
Germany’s coach Joachim Loew spoke about Goretzka’s injury in a press conference:
“Leon Goretzka is nursing a minor injury that has been nagging him for some time. He will not be able to play tomorrow.
That means I have to think about other options. It is a shame really because this young team needs to play with more or less the same starting lineup over several matches.
It’s very important for a young team to gain familiarity, but we will still go into the game with a spring in our step despite the missing players.
Leon Goretzka hasn’t played for his club, Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga this season as well. His leg injury has turned out to be more chronic and prolonged than expected.
When Germany faced the Netherlands in Amsterdam during their initial clash in March, they secured a dramatic, come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Dutch. Even though the German team will be missing a lot of key players from that victory, coach Loew expressed a lot of trust and faith in the abilities of his youngsters such as Bayern Munich’s Serge Gnabry and Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz. Speaking about Gnabry, Loew said: “Gnabry attacks the goal at speed, is good technically and moves around a lot between the lines.
That makes him hard to pick up. Serge is fit and will start tomorrow. With me, Serge is always going to play.”
The Netherlands are really hoping to overcome the ignominy of missing out on qualifying for Euro 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. As of now, the Netherlands are third in Group C, with a massive six points gap between them and the top two teams of the group, Northern Ireland and Germany. The Dutch do have games in hand though.
However, Roland Koeman, the manager of the Netherlands was not very worried about the clash against Germany. He said: “The duel with Germany is not a key match. No, not even for the rest of the qualification. We have to get 12 points in the matches against Estonia and Belarus and be the better in the mutual duels with Northern Ireland.“