Germany manager Joachim Low has confessed that he could be without midfielder Ilkay Gundogan and defenders Antonio Rudiger and Robin Gosens for Tuesday’s last-16 meeting with England at Euro 2020.
The trio started in all of Germany’s three group-stage games, with Gosens in particular drawing a lot of praise for his outstanding performances at left wing-back.
England boss Gareth Southgate is even rumoured to be considering a switch to a 3-4-3 formation purely to focus on containing Gosens and right-back partner Joshua Kimmich, but that might not be necessary as Low confirmed that the Atalanta man is one of three players at risk of missing out.
“They had caught a cold, symptoms of a cold, they haven’t felt so well, not powerful and so we took some blood samples and there are low infections, small infections,” Low said (via Sky Sports News) of Rudiger and Gosens.
“Maybe it gets better in one day, maybe they get up [on Tuesday] and feel well already but maybe, on the other hand, it can get worse overnight so we have to wait.”
On Gundogan, he added: “Well Ilkay, he suffered this cranial bruise and before he still felt a little bit dizzy, especially in training, so we said, ‘OK, we have to stop his load’, and for today he did a good job of 13 minutes so we have to decide about [Tuesday]. Ilkay couldn’t participate in the whole team training, but this was discussed and agreed on before.
“I don’t know if these players will be at [our] disposal, I can’t say it yet, but we will have other solutions.”
Fortunately for Low, he has plenty of other high-level options to bring into his starting lineup if any of the three players can’t make it.
At left-back, Gosens could be replaced by RB Leipzig’s Marcel Halstenberg, while Bayern Munich‘s Niklas Sule or Leeds United’s Robin Koch could fill in centrally.
In midfield, Bayern machine Leon Goretzka is the leading candidate to replace Gundogan, but Emre Can and Florian Neuhaus will also be hoping they are given the chance to strut their stuff.