Germany will be eager to clinch a crucial win when they welcome Turkey to the Olympiastadion in a friendly on Saturday.

The final international break of 2023 is here, with most of the fixtures being competitive in their nature. But Germany will play friendlies until UEFA Euro 2024, a competition they will host next year, culminates, and they will host Turkey at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on Saturday evening.

A new era is underway for the German national side. The Hansi Flick story ended abruptly after a spate of disastrous results, including early ouster from the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Julian Nagelsmann has replaced Flick on a short-term contract which runs until July 31, 2024. The former Bayern Munich manager has had a mixed start to life as Germany’s head coach, winning one and drawing one match.

Like Germany, Turkey recently saw a managerial change, with Vincenzo Montella replacing Stefan Kuntz in September. The Italian tactician has overseen an excellent start to life as the head coach of the Crescent-Stars, winning both games thus far without conceding a goal. These include a surprising 1-0 victory over Croatia last month.

The most recent clash involving Germany and Turkey was an electrifying contest that saw the Crescent-Stars thrice come from a goal down to hold Die Mannschaft to a 3-3 draw. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics


Julian Nagelsmann made a few changes to the squad he picked in the October international break. Bernd Leno and Kevin Behrens dropped out of the group, while Jamal Musiala missed the cut after picking up an injury ahead of the latest round of fixtures.

In addition, Robin Gosens, Malick Thiaw, and Felix Nmecha have pulled out from the squad for Germany’s latest games. Meanwhile, Oliver Baumann, Janis Blaswich, Robert Andrich, Grischa Promel, and Marvin Ducksch are in line to make their international debuts for Germany when they take on Turkey.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen should take his spot between the sticks this weekend, with Germany lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in front of him. The central defensive partnership will likely feature Mats Hummers and Antonio Rudiger, with the RB Leipzig pair of Benjamin Henrichs and David Raum being the two full-backs.

Up ahead in midfield, Ilkay Gundogan will don the captain’s armband, with Joshua Kimmich being his partner in the double pivot. The in-form Julian Brandt will reprise the no. 10 role, with Florian Wirtz and Leroy Sane completing a fluid trifecta. Finally, Niclas Fullkrug will spearhead the attack on Saturday.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): ter Stegen; Henrichs, Hummels, Rudiger, Raum; Kimmich, Gundogan; Wirtz, Brandt, Sane; Fullkrug


Like his counterpart in the German dugout, Vincenzo Montella has made a few changes to the squad he had picked in the international break in October. Merih Demiral, Orkun Kokcu, and Yunus Akgun are the most notable absentees.

Meanwhile, Cengiz Under and captain Hakan Calhanoglu have withdrawn from the squad after picking up knocks. Calhanoglu, in particular, will leave a gaping hole in his team’s offensive unit, with the creativity dropping significantly.

Yusuf Yazici should come in for Calhanoglu, with the 26-year-old likely joining Kerem Akturkoglu, Irfan Kaheci, and Baris Yilmaz in the final third. Salih Ozcan will also look to provide the creative impetus alongside Yazici but will also defensively support Ismail Yuksek.

Meanwhile, Ugurcan Cakir will likely feature between the sticks for Turkey, with the away side lining up in a 4-1-4-1 formation in front of him. Fortunately for Montella, he can pick a full-strength defensive unit, with Abdulkerim Bardakci and Samet Akaydin being the two centre-backs, while Ferdi Kadioglu and Cenk Ozkacar will be the two full-backs.

Probable Lineup (4-1-4-1): Cakir; Kadioglu, Akaydin, Bardakci, Ozkacar; Yuksek; Kahveci, Yazici, Ozcan, Akturkoglu; Yilmaz

Key Stats

  • Germany have a superior record in their meetings with Turkey, managing 14 wins, four draws and three defeats across 21 games.
  • Germany are on a four-game unbeaten run against Turkey (W3 D1), although the most recent clash was a 3-3 draw in 2020.
  • Julian Nagelsmann’s record as Germany boss currently stands at one win (3-1 vs USA) and one draw (2-2 vs Mexico).
  • Vincenzo Montella has a 100% record as Turkey’s head coach, with the Crescent-Stars yet to concede a goal in those outings.

Player to Watch

Leroy Sane

Embed from Getty Images

Many players were in contention for this section, especially with a few veterans finding a second wind under Julian Nagelsmann. But Leroy Sane is the player to watch for Saturday’s game after an excellent start to the 2023/24 season.

The 27-year-old has a super tally of eight goals and six assists in 11 Bundesliga matches thus far this term. But he did not find such levels under Nagelsmann at Bayern Munich. So, the former Manchester City winger will be out to prove a point and continue his high levels, especially with Germany searching for a talismanic attacker.


Germany 1-1 Turkey

Germany’s blow-hot-blow-cold form has shown no signs of disappearing despite Julian Nagelsmann’s arrival. The traditional European powerhouses remain suspect at the back, although they have found a few goals in the two games thus far.

But the soft underbelly might alert Turkey, especially with the Crescent-Stars flying high under the tutelage of Vincenzo Montella. With that in mind, The Hard Tackle predicts a close contest, with the two teams playing out a 1-1 draw in Berlin this weekend.

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