Germany will look for redemption at the European Championship

Germany has been grouped alongside Serbia, Hungary and Scotland for the upcoming European Championships at home, which will get underway on 15 June. The three-time champions will start as one of the favorites to win the tournament.

Die Mannschaft, the name by which the German national team is also known as, has an enviable record in major tournaments, but their performances have not been particularly good in the past few years.

Germany Was Eliminated Early in the Last Few Major Tournaments

Germany endured first-round exits in each of the last two FIFA World Cups, losing to teams like South Korea, Mexico and Japan in the process. They were beaten by England in the Euro 2020 in the round of 16. Thus, their recent form has not been great, but the four-time world champions have too much pedigree and class to be ignored.
Germany has hosted three major tournaments till date – in 1974, 1988 and 2006. They reached the semifinals in each of those three tournaments and won the title in 1974. Hence, they should feel confident about their chances ahead of this year’s Euros. Aside from France and England, none of the other teams probably have as much chance of winning the tournament as Germany does.

Germany’s Defence Remains a Concern Amid Very Formidable Attack and Midfield

Julian Nagelsmann, the German coach, has left out players like Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry, Niklas Süle, Julian Brandt, Timo Werner and Emre Can. Still, the Germans have a fantastic attack comprising the likes of Leroy Sané, Jamal Musiala, Kai Havertz, Thomas Müller, Niclas Füllkrug and Florian Wirtz.

Wirtz was instrumental in Bayer Leverkusen’s Bundesliga triumph and UEFA Europa League runners-up finish. He usually plays on the left flank and has caught the eyes with his passing and ball-skills. Füllkrug has scored 15 goals for Borussia Dortmund this season and will give Havertz some stiff fight for the centre-forward’s place in the starting XI.
Germany should think of starting with Musiala as the No. 10, with Sané and Wirtz as the two wingers in their 4-2-3-1. Then there are the likes of Toni Kroos, who has announced that he will retire from football after the Euros, İlkay Gündoğan, Robert Andrich and Aleksandar Pavlović in the central midfield. Both Kroos and Gündoğan are seasoned campaigners and should start in the double-pivot.
Pavlovic has had a good season for Bayern Munich and will look to make his mark at the international stage. Andrich, too, played his part in Bayer Leverkusen’s success.
However, Germany’s defence remains a bit of a concern. Their habit of conceding goals cheaply is something they will have to work upon. While there are world-class players like Manuel Neuer, Antonio Rüdiger and Joshua Kimmich in their defensive set-up, it also consists of less-experienced players like Maximilian Mittelstädt, Jonathan Tah and David Raum.
Tah or Mittelstädt should partner Rüdiger in the heart of the defence, with Kimmich and Raum playing as full-backs. It has to be remembered in this context that both of Germany’s holding midfielders in their double-pivot are attack-minded players and hence, their defenders will have to be on their toes for the most part. Germany’s fortune in the tournament could actually be decided by their defenders’ ability to rise to the occasions.

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