Julian Nagelsmann (l.) has an embarrassment of riches with his Germany squad. How will he line them up at Euro '24? - © Alex Grimm/Getty Images
Julian Nagelsmann (l.) has an embarrassment of riches with his Germany squad. How will he line them up at Euro '24? - © Alex Grimm/Getty Images

How will Germany line up under Julian Nagelsmann at Euro 2024?


Germany have been drawn together with Scotland, Hungary and Switzerland in Group A for next summer's UEFA Euro 2024. How will Julian Nagelsmann's side line up when the games kick-off?

Nagelsmann is a tactical innovator; the youngest ever Bundesliga coach aged 28 when he took charge of Hoffenheim in 2016, and one who most recently steered Bayern Munich to a Bundesliga title last season variously using 4-2-3-1 and 3-1-4-2 formations. 

Since taking the Germany job, results have been mixed: in four friendlies, Nagelsmann's side have beaten the USA and drawn with Mexico, before suffering back-to-back defeats to Turkey and Austria.

But winning or not across those games was perhaps less important than giving Hansi Flick's successor some crucial, if limited, time to judge what players he has at his disposal, and how he might line them up.

Nagelsmann has already given first caps to Chris Führich, Marvin Ducksch, Robert Andrich and Kevin Behrens, but he also recalled veterans such as 2014 FIFA World Cup-winning pair Mats Hummels and Thomas Müller.

Kai Havertz the left-back? Julian Nagelsmann's Germany reign has been experimental so far. - DFL

In the most recent reverse against Austria, Nagelsmann went with a back three, but the other three games saw a flat back four used, and something close to a 4-2-2-2 emerging as his most-used formation. 

Ducksch and Behrens were called up to provide alternatives to Niclas Füllkrug at No.9, but the Borussia Dortmund man remains first choice up front, enjoying three goals and an assist in his four games under Nagelsmann. Leroy Sané, in his most prolific spell at Bayern Munich, has invariably been the closest in support.

The front four seemed quite settled, with prodigious talents Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala seeing more minutes than Müller, but whether one of the youngsters would work better alongside the Raumdeuter is a question that remains unanswered. 

Watch: Wirtz and Musiala under the tactical microscope

Further back, Ilkay Gündoğan was re-confirmed as captain, but with he and Joshua Kimmich seen as stylistically similar, the player given most time alongside the Barcelona man at the base of midfield was Brighton's late bloomer, Pascal Groß

In defence, Kai Havertz was experimented with at left-back after Robin Gosens had been given the nod in the first two games. Antonio Rüdiger is first-choice at centre-back, but whether Hummels or Jonathan Tah partner him remains to be seen. Tah, Niklas Süle and Benjamin Henrichs were each also tested at right-back.

Behind them, with Manuel Neuer still on the comeback trail from a broken leg, Marc-André ter Stegen and Kevin Trapp got two games each in goal, and both will be optimistic of joining the Bayern and Germany captain in the squad next summer.

Joshua Kimmich's restoration to right-back could solve more than one problem for Germany. - DFL

So, how will Germany line up next summer?

"We respect every opponent," said DFB sporting director Rudi Völler after the draw was made. "I'm looking forward to the Scots. This'll be a great fight, they'll bring many fans, there will be a great atmosphere - and of course it'll be demanding. Our focus must be on a good start.

"I'm optimistic that we will play a good European Championship if we change a few things."

But how much will Nagelsmann change? The front four seems settled, and can very quickly go from a box shape to a triangle, with Wirtz nudging left and Sané deeper to the right - a starting position he enjoys at club level, and one which allows him to cut inside on his stronger left foot.

Watch: Kimmich, world class in more than one position

But Groß, like Gündoğan and Kimmich, would rather protect the ball and distribute from deep than drive forward with real intent, and Kimmich's Bayern teammate Leon Goretzka could benefit from the need for a different profile in midfield. He can even drop between the centre-backs if both wing-backs want to get forward. A broken hand restricted his minutes of late, but that should be long healed by June.

And perhaps it's time to revisit Kimmich the right-back? It looks like a problem position for Germany - even Julian Brandt spent time there in the recent friendlies - and it wasn't so long ago Kimmich was looking like the world's best in the role, voted the UEFA Champions League's Defender of the Season in 2019/20.

If Nagelsmann can put Havertz at full-back…