Hansi Flick has confirmed both Antonio Rudiger and Thomas Muller will be available for Germany’s World Cup curtain raiser against Japan
- Flick confirms Muller and Rudiger available
- But look at Gotze’s fitness
- Say Germany need quality to win
WHAT HAPPENED? Flick eased fears over the fitness of both Rudiger and Muller ahead of their Group E opener against Japan on November 23. In a press conference, the former Bayern Munich boss confirmed that both will be available for the game. He also commented on the fitness of Mario Gotze who has not yet trained with the German team.
WHAT THEY SAID: “Thomas Muller has had a bit of a break now, but has been training well in Munich and will continue to do so here. We need a lot of quality in these positions if we want to be successful. I expect Thomas, like Antonio Rudiger, to start training with the team four days before the game against Japan. Recovery is important. We’ll see what happens with Mario tomorrow. He already has a lot of games in his legs this season, so we are very careful about how we go about it.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Muller has not played for Bayern since their 3-0 win over Barcelona on October 26. He has since missed four Bundesliga games and a Champions League win over Inter as he continues to make a full recovery from a hip problem. The 33-year-old has been part of every German World Cup squad since 2010, while Rudiger made his debut in the tournament in Russia. His problem is more to do with fitness than an actual injury.
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WHAT NEXT FOR GERMANY? No matter who he has at his disposal, Flick’s attention will be on preparing for the opening game against Japan. Germany then face Spain and Costa Rica in their remaining group stage matches.