Germany face Oman in a friendly a week before the World Cup in Qatar
Germany hope to steal a march on their World Cup rivals by facing Oman in the Muscat heat before flying to Qatar… Hansi Flick will want to make the most of his final preparations if he is to right the wrongs of their disastrous 2018 exit
- Germany are in Oman making their final preparations for the World Cup in Qatar
- Hansi Flick’s side kick off their World Cup campaign against Japan in one week
- The Germans face the Omani national side in a friendly on Wednesday night
- Their week in neighbouring Oman is allowing them to acclimatise to the heat
- They’ll be looking to right the wrongs of their group exit at 2018 World Cup
- Follow Sportsmail’s daily World Cup live blog for all updates from Qatar
- Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results
The Germans are ready for their assault on the World Cup after landing in the Middle East – but before jetting out to Qatar, it is the neighbouring Oman where Hansi Flick has been rallying the troops.
In just one week, Germany kick off their campaign against Japan looking to right the wrongs of their miserable tournament in 2018 that saw them dumped out in the group stages.
Their mission for retribution has already begun early this week after landing in Oman’s capital of Muscat on Monday, allowing them to acclimatise to the heat and conditions a few days before most of their rivals.
Germany are in Oman making their final preparations for next week’s World Cup in Qatar
On Wednesday night they play a friendly against the Omani national side, allowing them to gain some vital match fitness and cohesion as a group.
Many other teams – including England – will go straight into the action at the World Cup.
Nearby Dubai had been another option for Germany’s pre-Qatar camp but it was unavailable – with their 2014 final opponents Argentina already there.
So this was the next best destination, especially as Oman is a hugely popular destination among Germans. The two countries have close ties and Flick’s men have been welcomed in with open arms.
Germany kick off their campaign against Japan at the Khalifa International stadium next week
For Oman, this game is a huge moment to showcase themselves and the country. They last played the 2014 world champions back in 1998 and being situated so close to Qatar is a real marketing opportunity ahead of this momentous World Cup – as a way to promote Oman as a possible destination for travelling fans to stay at.
Lyutha Al Habsy, an advisor who is working alongside VisitOman ahead of the World Cup, told Sportsmail: ‘It is always a pleasure to host visitors in Oman and having the German national team here before the World Cup creates excitement among the fans – and amplifies the sense of national pride.’
Oman is situated away from the craziness of Doha, away from all the fanfare and huge billboards – giving Kai Havertz, Thomas Muller and Co a little bit of respite in a serene environment before flying out to Doha on Thursday – only a 90-minute flight away.
Die Mannschaft conducted a closed training session in front of the press at Muscat’s national stadium on Tuesday where they were put through their paces ahead of the friendly against Oman on Wednesday.
Germany boss Hansi Flick has been putting his team through their paces in Muscat this week
There was concern as Muller was forced to sit out of the session as he continues to struggle with a hip injury that has ruled him out since last month. Antonio Rudiger and Mario Gotze were not present, meanwhile, as they look to build up fitness.
Flick allayed concerns over Muller and Rudiger’s condition, saying he expects both players to make the first game against Japan on November 23.
‘Thomas Muller has now had a bit of a break but trained well in Munich and will continue to do so here,’ he told the media in Muscat. ‘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.’
Frankfurt’s Gotze, however, is not a certainty to be ready – with Flick planning to use Wednesday night’s friendly as a chance to assess his side’s fitness.
‘We will see what happens with Mario tomorrow,’ he added. ‘He’s got a lot of matches in his legs already this season so we are very careful about how we go about it.
Flick (left) allayed concerns over Thomas Muller and Antonio Rudiger’s (centre) fitness issues
However, Frankfurt’s Mario Gotze (centre) is not a certainty to be ready for the first game
‘We will see who needs a break, who will play 45 minutes [against Oman]. But for us it is about bringing all players to the same level to be ready for Japan. That’s our plan.’
Germany must be ready in Doha this month ahead of a tricky group, with their second game coming against Spain.
That clash against Luis Enrique’s men will be a real test of their mettle – and a chance to send out a message to their rivals as they look to be crowned world champions for the second time in eight years.
The first group game against Japan and the final one against Costa Rica will be seen as more forgiving, but there can be no room for a single shred of complacency.
Germany were expected to breeze through their group in 2018 up against Sweden, Mexico and South Korea before their shock early elimination as they finished bottom of the standings.
Germany will be looking to right the wrongs of their group-stage exit at the last World Cup
Former Bayern boss Flick is leading a new era after taking over from Joachim Low – who also oversaw a tough last-16 exit at Euro 2020 against England – and lessons will have been learned.
Teams are in uncharted waters with this unusual mid-season tournament – and preparation is everything.
If this early camp in Oman gives his players even the slightest spring in their steps ahead of the World Cup, Flick will take it.
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