Anyone who leaves such clear tracks makes himself suspicious again.

So Marcus Sorg, Joachim Löw's assistant, was asked at the weekend whether everything could not be a big bluff: like an X for a U, show the French the back three instead of the back four.

Christian Kamp

Sports editor.

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    But apart from the fact that Sorg would hardly have disclosed the sheet, there is little to be said for a tactical maneuver. Löw had the three-man chain rehearsed in the last two test matches, and given the generally somewhat protracted finding process, it would be unusual for the national coach to make tabula rasa on his tactics board again.

    For a long time, the chain of three was considered to be a B solution, because there is one less place in the basic formation for one of the many attacking midfielders.

    But Löw apparently promises the right balance from her, at least against France this Tuesday (9 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the European Football Championship, on ZDF and MagentaTV).

    The three central defenders, specifically Ginter, Hummels and Rüdiger, ensure a plus in stability, the two outside players ensure that it still goes vertically forward - if they are not too busy chasing after the opponents.

    What role does Kimmich get?

    Avoiding that could be a central task against the French with their overwhelming artists on the offensive.

    The only problem is: it is difficult to say beforehand where the danger is coming from - if in doubt, from anywhere.

    In this respect, Löw now has to decide where to set priorities.

    A lot revolves around the role of Joshua Kimmich.

    The Munich player loves to shape the game from the center, but recently Löw let him run on the right side - like Hansi Flick last year in Bayern's Champions League final against Paris, in which Kimmich then Kylian Mbappé fun and Took up space (albeit in a back four).

    However, the profit could prove worthless if Kimmich's class is missing elsewhere.

    On the one hand, he is a 360-degree player who constantly scans the entire area around him, and his chip balls from the center towards the penalty area are always good for one or the other big chance.

    But his resoluteness in the headquarters could be even more lacking.

    Kroos is there, and even if there are many indications of Gündogan at his side: Can this alliance be the rock that breaks the waves of the French?

    Only if they get plenty of support from all sides.

    Either way, it will take a tremendous collective effort to neutralize the individual French class.

    In the front, Müller and Gnabry should have their seats safe - and Havertz the better cards over Sané.