Flick is looking for plan B: failures disrupt the World Cup test run

Frankfurt / Main (dpa) – Now Hansi Flick has to improvise. Shortly before the Nations League game against Hungary , the national coach is working on a plan B after the annoying Corona failure of captain Manuel Neuer and Leon Goretzka. In any case, the upcoming World Cup dress rehearsal is disturbed by the positive tests of the two Bayern professionals.

The first corona cases in the DFB circle with direct consequences for the national soccer team in the World Cup year made head coach Flick suddenly realize that the pandemic could also endanger his ambitious title project at the tournament in Qatar in two months.

Flick immediately wanted to send his team into the World Cup tunnel these days. You have to “go into tournament mode and be there from the start,” was the 57-year-old’s original requirement.

But now the corona protocols prescribed by the doctors are running in the DFB hotel in Gravenbruch. Does that disturb the concentration in the long term? Jonas Hofmann – himself lost to international matches by Corona in 2021 – already spoke of the “alarm bells” that can now be heard. Further cases before the planned trip to Leipzig by train on Thursday afternoon would certainly cause unrest.

Two failures are still no obstacle

The UEFA regulations for the home game in Leipzig on Friday (8.45 p.m. / ZDF) against leaders Hungary and the classic on Monday (8.45 p.m. / RTL) at London’s Wembley against England are clear. Two failures are still no obstacle. Must be played as long as both teams have at least 13 healthy players available.

If this is not the case due to corona infections, an alternative date would have to be sought. There really isn’t one in the tight schedule, which means the game would be scored 0:3 against the team responsible for the cancellation – a rather theoretical discussion despite the departure of Neuer and Goretzka.

Marc-André ter Stegen will probably now be in goal instead of Neuer. Ilkay Gündogan was an option for Goretzka in defensive midfield anyway. Flick nominated two players in goalkeeper Oliver Baumann and Maximilian Arnold from VfL Wolfsburg. In addition, Dortmund’s Julian Brandt had to leave, not because of Corona, but because of an infection.

Flick scheduled training on Thursday on the campus in Frankfurt for 11 a.m., a little later than on the previous days. At 12.45 p.m., strikers Timo Werner and Flick will answer questions at the press conference, including about Corona and the necessary plan B.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:220922-99-854165/2

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