Germany are hoping to maintain their ruthless form under Hansi Flick when they take on Armenia on Sunday.

After securing a thumping 9-0 victory over Liechtenstein this midweek, Germany are looking for their seventh successive win under Hansi Flick as they lock horns with Armenia on Sunday.

It is a dead rubber encounter for the 2014 World Champions, who have already secured a ticket to the 2022 FIFA World Cup. They are indeed sitting top of Group J with 24 points collected in just nine matches.

Meanwhile, their weekend opponent Armenia are out of the qualifying equation after being thrashed by North Macedonia in midweek. They are currently fourth with 12 points, trailing the second-placed team by three points.

Due to a poor head to head record, Armenia can’t hope to qualify even if they secure all three points against Germany and Iceland beat North Macedonia in the other game. Not to mention, the Armenians were taken to the cleaners by Germany when these two sides last met back in early September.

The 6-0 win was Flick’s biggest win for Germany at the time and pretty much acted as a catalyst for an excellent run of form that followed. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a look at these two sides ahead of their encounter in Yerevan this weekend.

Team News & Tactics

Armenia

It remains to be seen how Armenia go about their business after conceding five goals against North Macedonia. Head coach Joaquin Caparros will be certainly demanding more defensive solidity from the likes of David Terteryan, Kamo Havhannisyan and goalkeeper David Yurchenko this weekend.

There might also be changes in store, with the central defensive duo Hovhannes Hambardzumyan and Andre Calisir likely making way for Taron Voskanyan and Varazdat Haroyan.

While the defenders will be expected to carry out their duties, it will be equally critical for the central midfielders to offer solidity in the middle of the park. The onus of preventing the opposition from dominating the possession will be on Solomon Udo.

The 26-year-old is expected to be partnered by wide midfielders Tigran Barseghyan and Khoren Bayramyan. It won’t be surprising to see the two operate in a central role, while the number ten Henrikh Mkhitaryan may also drop in deeper to help out things in the second line of press.

However, the former Borussia Dortmund playmaker will largely offer the creative output to the two forwards upfront in Sargis Adamyan and Norberto Briasco.

Probable Lineup (4-3-1-2): Yurchenko; Terteryan, Haroyan, Voskanyan, Hovhannisyan; Barseghyan, Udo, Bayramyan; Mkhitaryan; Adamyan, Briasco

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Germany

After Joshua Kimmich, Jamal Musiala and Niklas Sule were forced to quarantine even before the international break, Germany face up to five more absentees heading into this game.

Last match’s star performer Marco Reus has opted out of the team due to load management. Julian Draxler and Leon Goretzka, meanwhile, are nursing injuries while Antonio Rudiger is facing a suspension. Manuel Neuer is expected to be given a breather as well, thus paving the way for Marc-Andre ter Stegen to start in goal.

In the defensive unit, the absence of Rudiger means Matthias Ginter could be set for a rare start alongside Thilo Kehrer, while both Christian Gunter and Jonas Hofmann will continue occupying the full-back slots.

In midfield, Hansi Flick has hinted that Florian Neuhaus could start alongside Ilkay Gundogan in the double-pivot. The two offer an excellent balance between creativity and dynamism. However, the former Bayern coach has other options as well, including Maxi Arnold, who operates in a deeper role while specialising from set-pieces.

As for the attack, the absence of Reus, Timo Werner and Karim Adeyemi should see the young Lukas Nmecha spearheading the frontline, with the additional support of Thomas Muller.

Leroy Sane is another player tipped for a start, but Flick might give him a breather and deploy Julian Brandt out wide. Ridle Baku, meanwhile, may continue on the right flank in the absence of Musiala, Serge Gnabry and Draxler.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Hofmann, Ginter, Kehrer, Gunter; Neuhaus, Gundogan; Baku, Muller, Brandt; Nmecha

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Key Stats

  • Germany were the first team to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, after hosts Qatar.
  • Lukas Nmecha previously scored eight goals in 31 youth international appearances with England and then 12 in 20 with Germany’s U21s.
  • Die Mannschaft have never lost an away game in World Cup qualifying.
  • Serge Gnabry was Germany’s most potent attacking outlet in this qualifying campaign with five goals and an assist, four of those goals coming in five games under Flick.
  • Germany have won all four of their previous meetings with Armenia, with an aggregate score of 21-2.

Player to Watch

Lukas Nmecha

With the majority of the German forwards, including Reus, Werner and Adeyemi, missing out, this could be an ideal opportunity for Lukas Nmecha to make his mark on the national team.

The former Manchester City forward, who has a marvellous track record with the U21 team, recently made his debut for the senior team in the win over Liechtenstein. He is now hoping to gain a start in the number nine slot and use his predatory instincts in the final third to dominate the leaky Armenian defence this weekend.

Prediction

Armenia 0-4 Germany

Germany have been in a ruthless run of form under the leadership of Hansi Flick. Their quality hasn’t deteriorated despite the absence of star players, and there is a newfound confidence in the team that could once again prove to be the end of the Armenian backline this weekend.

Lukas Nmecha, in particular, could emerge as a protagonist as Germany look to maintain their perfect record under Flick, while Armenia’s 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying may end on a negative note.

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