Originally planned as the final tune up of the year that would allow manager Joachim Low to tinker with his lineup before Euro 2016, instead Germany and the Netherlands kick off their friendly for much more than a victory Tuesday at HDI-Arena in Hanover.
Following last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris, including right outside of Stade De France while his side squared off with France, Low said he at first didn’t want to face the Dutch but concluded much more was at stake than international bragging rights.
"It was a horrible, terrible night," Low told reporters. "But having slept on it for a night, it became clear that the game had to go ahead. It's going to be a clear message for freedom and democracy. It is about respect and support for our French friends.
"If we manage to turn this game into a signal, then we will already have won, regardless of the result. We are all of the opinion that it's good that we stand by our values and that this game takes place."
The reigning World Cup champions, who fell to France 2-0 but won five of their previous six matches, will sew up this year’s fixtures against the Dutch and won’t play again until March.
Though the match could’ve allowed Low to keep his strategy fresh and perhaps refine it, Germany will instead miss six top players. Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, Galatasaray’s Lukas Podolski, Schalke’s Leroy Sane, Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng and Manuel Neuer have all returned to their clubs, while Cologne’s Jonas Hector is dealing with an injury.
The Dutch are coming off a 3-2 victory over Wales, highlighted by captain and forward Arjen Robben’s second-half brace. But this is still a side that failed to qualify for Euro 2016, and may be looking much further down the road to the 2018 World Cup.
Danny Blind is expected to turn to 26-year-old forward Bas Dost, with Robin Van Persie currently off the squad, while forward Lukk de Jong eyes his 10th cap.
Kickoff: 2:45 p.m. ET
Live Online: Watch ESPN
Prediction: Netherlands over Germany, 2-1