Germany vs Netherlands: Three key players to look out for

Germany host the Netherlands in a crucial friendly that will allow both sets of managers to analyse their squads better as we look at three key players in this clash.

Friendly games are often overrated, one for their actual need and the second that they fall bang in the middle of the domestic season. Most fans tend to lean towards dismissing the need for these games in the current international fixtures. But in truth, they do hold massive importance, especially for national team managers. They are even more important when the teams are Germany and the Netherlands.

In this case, Germany and the Netherlands go head to head in an all-important clash, with both sets of managers aiming to get a better look at their respective charges. Both sides played meaningful games a few games earlier, with Germany beating France, while the Oranje proved too decisive for Scotland.

The big issue for international managers at this stage is the lack of games between now and the Euros. Including this friendly on Tuesday, both teams will play around three more games before taking on the tournament.

Hence, it is imperative for these national team bosses to help form partnerships and choose the strongest eleven, among other things. For instance, Germany’s win over France showed plenty of promise from them, and it appeared that Julian Nagelsmann was finally able to call upon his best players and flex his muscles.

Nagelsmann may have already stumbled upon his best formula ahead of the Euros, especially with his starting centre-back pairing and players suitable for his attacking system. Even in the full-back areas, he may have figured out his solution, while there are some solid names to participate in midfield activities.

For the German boss, there are still some positions he might want to experiment with and figure out if players like Niclas Fullkrug are fit to be the team’s starting striker. The Borussia Dortmund man will have the spotlight on him ahead of their clash with the Netherlands.

The same goes for the Netherlands, as Ronald Koeman more or less has his main eleven figured ahead of the Euros. The Dutch boss may have most of his players ready and available, but there are some key positions, like the right-back slot or one central midfield role, which need addressing before taking the final call.

Koeman wants to analyse some of his players, like Joey Veerman and Memphis Depay, as there are still chances that he might look to go with Luuk de Jong in the central striker role. Matts Wieffer had a challenging game against Scotland, and hence, Veerman is likely to come into the picture against Germany in the midfield.

Koeman also has to decide on his starting goalkeeper as there’s intense competition between Premier League pair Bart Verbruggen and Mark Flekken for the spot. As things stand, the latter is leaning more towards starting games, although the decision has not yet been made.

The big decision for Koeman will have to be in the right back slot, as he will use this game to test Jeremie Frimpong and allow Denzel Dumfries to watch from the bench. The latter is Koeman’s first choice as things stand, but he cannot ignore Frimpong for the season he is having over at Bayer Leverkusen.

Frimpong features on this list of three critical stars alongside teammate Virgil van Dijk. Meanwhile, Fullkrug is likely to have the spotlight on his head in this clash, which appears to be a big chance for the Dortmund forward to make a mark on Nagelsmann’s mind.

Virgil van Dijk

Ronald Koeman will place absolute trust in what Virgil van Dijk can produce for him on the pitch and will undoubtedly pin his nation’s chances on the shoulders of the experienced defender. Sure enough, the Liverpool star is one of the significant Dutch attractions at the Euros, and knowing how important it is to keep him fit, the manager will start him against Germany.

Van Dijk will hold the keys to the central defence alongside his now-regular partner, Lutsharel Geertruida. The duo, and especially the Liverpool man, will face one of the most potent attacking setups on the continent and will have to be on his toes when facing the likes of Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz.

Similarly, he has to help his side push forward against the big teams, as van Dijk will have to bring dominance into the game. The Germany clash will be crucial for the defender to view how the Netherlands respond to games when under pressure, especially away from home.

Jeremie Frimpong

Frimpong is having a phenomenal season with Bayer Leverkusen, with an incredible 11 goals and as many assists across competitions. The significant factor of his game under Xabi Alonso is about finding space on the right channel and attacking the opposition goal, something he may not be able to do with the Netherlands.

Now, Frimpong will have to bring in that X-factor, which has piqued the interest of top clubs like Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid, to the table and show Koeman he can rely on starting him in crucial games. For now, Dumfries appears like the starting right-back for the Netherlands, although there is plenty of room for Koeman to make a concerted decision on the position.

A good performance against the mighty Germany will do Frimpong’s chances a world of good. He will have to provide the impetus in the attacking third and also be strong at the back. It’s a big task for the young defender, especially when this game feels like the chance to stake a claim at the starting right-back spot.

Niclas Fullkrug


Julian Nagelsmann would have loved what Kai Havertz did in that centre-forward role and will undoubtedly think about the Arsenal man as his starting striker ahead of the Euros. Kai Havertz faces competition from Niclas Fullkrug, who can give the manager a selection headache.

The Borussia Dortmund man has had a decent season and could significantly improve the German frontline. Nagelsmann, for his part, wants brilliant relationships between his star attackers, and so far, Havertz has proved his worth with some terrific displays, something Fullkrug must start delivering.

Keeping in mind the relationships and nuisance a centre-forward has to create, Fullkrug has it in him to do that, although he will need more time on the pitch together with Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz to establish that relationship. For now, he must deliver a top-notch performance against the mighty Dutch, and by doing that, Nagelsmann will undoubtedly think of him and Havertz ahead of the Euros.

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