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H. Flick

Hansi Flick issues Antonio Rudiger and Thomas Muller fitness updates ahead of Germany's World Cup opener

19:20 GMT+3 15/11/2022
Rudiger-Muller split
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 watching Gotze's fitness
  • Says Germany needs quality to win

WHAT HAPPENED? Flick has eased fears surrounding the fitness of both Rudiger and Muller ahead of their Group E opener against Japan on November 23rd. Speaking at 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 hasn't trained with the Germany squad yet.

WHAT THEY SAID: "Thomas Muller has now had a bit of a break but trained well in Munich and will continue to do so here. We need a lot of quality in these positions if we are to be successful. I expect Thomas, just like Antonio Rudiger, to start training with the team four days before the game against Japan. Recovery is important. We will see what happens with Mario tomorrow. He's got a lot of matches in his legs already this season so we are very careful about how we go about it."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Muller hasn't played for Bayern since their 3-0 win over Barcelona on October 26th. He's missed four Bundesliga games and a Champions League victory over Inter since as he continues to full recover from a hip problem. The 33-year-old has been a part of every Germany World Cup squad since 2010, while Rudiger made his bow in the tournament in Russia. His issue 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 preparation for the opening game against Japan. Germany then take on Spain and Costa Rica in their remaining group stage games.