Germany’s World Cup preparations overshadowed by virus fears

Germany’s World Cup preparations have been disrupted by the coronavirus, forcing coach Hansi Flick to improvise for match warmup video games in opposition to Hungary and England.

Captain Manuel Neuer and his Bayern Munich teammate Leon Goretzka have been compelled to go away the group’s lodge Wednesday after constructive checks for COVID-19, whereas Borussia Dortmund midfielder Julian Brandt left with flu-like signs after testing adverse for the virus. It’s an unwelcome reminder for Flick that the pandemic isn’t over and will but play a task in Germany’s fortunes on the World Cup, which begins in Qatar in just below two months.

Flick needed his gamers “get into tournament mode and be there from the start” this week because the group prepares for Nations League video games in opposition to Hungary in Leipzig on Friday and England in London. But as a substitute, there’s a concern of additional constructive circumstances. Midfielder Jonas Hofmann stated “the alarm bells are going off.” Team coaching was scheduled for in a while Thursday than it had been on earlier days. Players face elevated checks within the wake of the constructive circumstances. The squad was then to journey to Leipzig by practice from the group lodge in Gravenbruch, close to Frankfurt.

Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann has been referred to as up as a alternative for Neuer, although Barcelona’s Marc-André ter Stegen is extra more likely to play in opposition to Hungary. Wolfsburg midfielder Maximilian Arnold can be a late addition to the squad. Flick beforehand referred to as up Leipzig’s Benjamin Henrichs to switch the injured Marco Reus.

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Flick continues to be aiming for prime spot in Nations League Group A3 to make sure qualification for the finals subsequent June. Hungary leads the group with seven factors from 4 video games and would clinch qualification for the finals with a win over Germany if Italy doesn’t beat England on the similar time.

Germany has six factors and can stay in rivalry so long as it avoids defeat on Friday. But if Germany loses, Flick’s group may now not catch Hungary, and if England will get not less than a draw in opposition to Italy, then England vs. Germany on Monday would instantly change into a duel in opposition to relegation.

For Hungary gamers Péter Gulácsi, Willi Orban and Dominik Szoboszlai, the sport in Leipzig shall be a particular one. All three play for Bundesliga group Leipzig. “We’re playing away and at home,” Szoboszlai stated. “We’ll go there and we’ll enjoy it.” Hungary held Germany to 1-1 in Budapest in June, when Timo Werner and David Raum had a number of possibilities saved by Gulácsi. Hungary shall be with out the injured Roland Sallai and Zsolt Nagy on Friday.

“Germany is the strongest team we could meet,” Hungary coach Marco Rossi stated. “We’ll do everything we can to make their work as difficult as possible so our fans can be proud of us again.”



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