Germany’s midfield partnership of Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich is “one of the best duos in the world”, according to Hansi Flick.
The Bayern Munich pair have started together in each of their country’s last three matches and are likely to anchor the midfield in the World Cup Qualifying Group J clash against North Macedonia on Monday.
Goretzka and Kimmich have also partnered each other in all seven of Bayern’s Bundesliga outings this season, helping Julian Nagelsmann’s side to the top of the table in the process.
Ahead of Germany’s trip to North Macedonia, where victory could see Die Mannschaft secure their place in Qatar with two matches to spare, Flick lauded Kimmich and Goretzka, who also formed a key part of his dominant Bayern team.
“Everyone knows they get along well off the pitch,” he told a news conference. “They complement each other and are top professionals.
“We need them to dictate our game. They harmonise well in midfield and we’re glad we have them.
“It’s one of the best midfield duos in the world.”
Manuel Neuer could return in goal for Germany, having missed Friday’s win over Romania with an adductor injury. Flick also revealed that defender Antonio Rudiger is a doubt after missing training on Sunday.
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) October 9, 2021
Meanwhile, winger Serge Gnabry has defended team-mate Timo Werner, who received criticism after a subdued performance against Romania.
Although involved in an early penalty incident, the Chelsea striker was substituted in the 67th minute having amassed just 24 touches and 19 passes – the lowest tallies recorded by any of Germany’s starting outfield players – while also seeing both of his shots go off target.
Nevertheless, Gnabry was full of praise Werner’s work rate and determination, insisting the former RB Leipzig star was simply unfortunate.
“We know there are periods when a striker doesn’t always score,” Gnabry said. “Then, there’s criticism, but we stand behind Timo.
“He did a good job in the last game; he missed a little bit of luck, but he’s giving everything, and that’s the most important thing.
“Timo is not [Robert] Lewandowski and not a classical striker, but he also has his qualities; he’s quick and can also score goals.”
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