The decision to continue having international breaks and playing largely meaningless matches during them has been one of the more baffling decision of football in the time of COVID — and that’s saying something — and that’s before we consider that many teams are now tasked with playing three times in a given break rather than just the standard two.
Case in point, Germany, who are set to take on the Czech Republic (today), Ukraine (Saturday), and Spain (Tuesday) in the space of the next seven days.
Fortunately, the people in charge of Die Mannschaft are somewhat cognizant of the overarching issues, and have thus granted a couple days extra rest for several players who have played a ton of minutes for their clubs in recent times. That includes Chelsea’s Timo Werner, who’s played in all but one of our thirteen matches so far this season, starting the last ten (10!) in a row.
Joachim #Löw has named his Germany squad for the upcoming international break!— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) November 6, 2020
ℹ️ Neuer, Ginter, Gnabry, Goretzka, Kimmich, Kroos, Sané and Werner are only available for the Nations League games.#DieMannschaft #GERCZE #GERUKR #ESPGER pic.twitter.com/6boyzoKsVK
Werner may be a machine, but even he needs to recharge his batteries every once in a while. Joachim Löw agrees.
“We made a conscious decision that players who have recently played a lot of games will not come until Thursday so that they have a mix of stress and regeneration. We then have to decide how to approach the controls, I can’t predict that yet. [...] All players are basically able to play in both games.”
-Joachim Löw; source: DFB
Löw also confirmed that Antonio Rüdiger, who certainly doesn’t have any workload concerns at the moment, will get a runout today, against the Czechs. Toni had a bit of a disastrous showing last time out for Germany, so hopefully he does a bit better this time around.
And hopefully neither he nor Werner pick up any injuries, or come down with COVID-19 like their compatriot Kai Havertz did last week (he’s currently still in self-isolation).