As Germany continue their recovery after a traumatic World Cup in Russia, Jogi Löw's side are involved in an old classic double header in the UEFA Nations League. Two away matches, against old rivals the Netherlands and world champions France.

German football right now is at a bit of a low ebb. The national team is still getting over the shock of their worst World Cup campaign in eighty years, injury woes continue, and all of the big names are struggling for form.

Will the German coach get things right, or will die Nationalmannschaft end up being relegated from the top tier of the UEFA Nations League? The threat is very real, and we will know a lot more by the middle of next week when this current round of matches has been completed.

Injury woes

The German coach originally named a standard squad of 23 players, but by the start of the week this was cut back to 21. Five players dropped out with injury concerns over the weekend, and Löw only named three replacements.

There are plenty of big names to go with the less experienced members of the squad, but none of these players are in top form. Many of them cannot even get a decent spell for their club sides.

Perhaps the biggest problem is that two players who are actually in good shape are among the five withdrawals. Marco Reus has been in top form for a Borussia Dortmund team that are coming the boil nicely, and teenager Kai Havertz has been one of the few plus points for a Bayer Leverkusen team that has false started this season.

Some may say that German football is experiencing a crisis, something that nobody could have considered this time last year.

Defensive frailties

Mats Hummels and Jérôme Boateng are among the world's top defenders, and the pair were a key part of Germany's World Cup triumph in 2014. But neither player is looking great right now. Hummels has found it hard to keep his place in the FC Bayern München starting eleven, and Boateng has been particularly error-prone.

The left-back Jonas Hector is playing second division football every weekend, and the rest of the defensive unit lack international experience. Niklas Süle is fighting with Hummels and Boateng for a starting spot in Munich, while Nico Schulz and Thilo Kehrer have just a couple of caps between them.

Midfield malaise

Even when the German defence was wobbling, the midfield would always bail them out. There is an abundance of midfield talent, but even the biggest names are struggling at the moment. Thomas Müller is a shadow of the player who bossed the pitch in the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, and Toni Kroos is not enjoying a difficult start to 2018/19 in La Liga with Real Madrid.

With Mesut Özil retired from international duty, Reus out injured and the likes of Sami Khedira unable to make the cut, there is not much else to talk about. Bayer Leverkusen's Julian Brandt is one of few who have had enough game time, and even Manchester City's Leroy Sané, one of the players of last season, has struggled to get a regular start.

Despite being a bit-part player for Paris Saint-Germain, Julian Draxler is still managing to get into the German squad. Perhaps it is time for the coach to look at some of the younger players coming through, and just go for broke.

Who is going to score the goals?

Over the years, Germany have had some world-class strikers. From Fritz Walter and Gerd Müller through to Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Miroslav Klose, the long list of names roll off the tongue.

In stark contrast, the current squad is the perfect illustration of the coach's biggest problem: scoring goals.

RB Leipzig's Timo Werner had a great start to his career in the famous white shirt, but endured a horrible World Cup. The upside is that he looks to have found some sort of form in the last couple of weeks as his team have climbed to second spot in the Bundesliga.

The other striking option has been picked on last season's statistics. With Mario Gómez now retired and Sandro Wagner also choosing to give up on playing for the national team, the injury to SC Freiburg's Nils Petersen has opened the path for FC Schalke 04's Mark Uth.

Last season, the 27-year-old had an excellent season with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, finishing as one of the season's most productive German-born strikers. A move to Schalke followed, and with it the dream of stepping up a notch.

The problem is that in ten matches this season, Uth has only managed to produce one assist. In days past, the idea of a German coach picking a player in such poor form would be unheard of.

If Uth gets a start, fans can only hope that he finds the on switch. The players need to find their form quickly, as things could get messy. France are always strong at home in the games that matter, and nobody will be looking at yesterday's last-gasp escape against Iceland.

As for the Dutch, they are on the up after missing out on the Euros in 2016 and the World Cup this summer. Add to that a dash of good old-fashioned rivalry.

Germany play the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Saturday 13th October, before travelling to Paris to take on the reigning world champions three days later.

For more news on the German national team as well as massive resource of statistics, results, match reports and historical features, please make sure to have a look at my dedicated blog, Schwarz und Weiss.