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Germany Euro 2020 preview - prediction, fixtures, squad, star player

:Headline: Germany Euro 2020 preview - prediction, fixtures, squad, star player:
Ahead of this summer's European Championship, Sports Mole assesses the chances of a Germany side lifting Europe's major international tournament for a record fourth time.
Sports Mole

Germany will be aiming to win their first European Championship since 1996 when they head into Euro 2020 this summer.

This will be Joachim Low's eighth and final major tournament as head coach of the German national team, with a glorious 15-year stint in the role set to be brought to an end in July.

Having crashed out of the group stage as defending champions at the 2018 World Cup, Low and his players will be under huge pressure to perform much better this summer.

Die Mannschaft have reached at least the semi-finals in each of Low's three European Championships in charge, so anything short of that would have to be considered a failure in the 61-year-old's final major competition.

Here, Sports Mole assesses Germany's chances of winning the European Championship for a record fourth time.


Despite being drawn as one of the top seeds, Germany have been handed an incredibly difficult group alongside world champions France, holders Portugal, and Hungary in Group F.

France and Portugal are both shorter odds than Germany to win Euro 2020 outright with certain bookmakers, so Low will be relieved to have the safety blanket of four of the six best third-placed teams progressing to the last 16.

Moreover, while Hungary are widely expected to be the whipping boys of the 'Group of Death,' they should not be under-estimated after topping their group at Euro 2016.

Marco Rossi's side also have home advantage on their side in two of their three group matches, albeit not against Germany, who will play each of their games in Munich.


June 15: Germany vs. France (8pm, Football Arena Munich, Munich)
June 19: Germany vs. Portugal (5pm, Football Arena Munich, Munich)
June 23: Germany vs. Hungary (8pm, Football Arena Munich, Munich)


Germany overcame Netherlands to top Group C in qualifying and automatically progress to the Euro 2020 finals.

With the two group favourites both beating each other, ultimately it was Netherlands' 0-0 draw away to Northern Ireland which proved to be the difference between the two great nations, albeit with little consequence given that the top two of each group automatically qualified for the tournament.

However, following a difficult World Cup and Nations League campaign, it was important for Low to restore confidence in both himself and the team, although it remains to be seen how stable the foundations prove to be under the stress of a major tournament.

Bayern Munich forward Serge Gnabry starred in qualifying with eight goals in eight matches, demonstrating how important he will be this summer, particularly given that he will be on familiar territory during Germany's three group games.


Since the European Championship qualifiers ended more than 18 months ago, Germany's form has been underwhelming for a nation of their standards, with Low's side only winning six of their last 13 games.

In fairness, there have only been two defeats in that run, but given that they were a 6-0 drubbing at the hands of Spain and an embarrassing 2-1 defeat at home to Euro 2020's lowest-ranked nation North Macedonia, they have probably had a more lasting negative affect than any routine losses would have done.

Germany's two warm-up friendlies heading into this summer's major tournament have been a little more encouraging, though, with a 1-1 draw to Denmark backed up by a morale-boosting 7-1 thrashing of Latvia.

Six different goalscorers plus an own goal in the win shows the sheer amount of players Low has at his disposal to chip in during Euro 2020.


Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Bernd Leno (Arsenal), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Defenders: Robin Koch (Leeds United), Christian Gunter (Freiburg), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Monchengladbach), Emre Can (Borussia Dortmund), Robin Gosens (Atalanta), Marcel Halstenberg (RB Leipzig), Lukas Klostermann (RB Leipzig), Niklas Sule (Bayern Munich)

Midfielders: Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich), Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Jonas Hofmann (Borussia Monchengladbach), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich), Florian Neuhaus (Borussia Monchengladbach), Leroy Sane (Bayern Munich)

Forwards: Kai Havertz (Chelsea), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Kevin Volland (Monaco), Timo Werner (Chelsea)


Two-and-a-half years after being cut from the squad by Low in order to attempt to build for the future, Thomas Muller has been recalled to the national team squad to provide valuable experience and quality in attacking areas.

Having made the most assists in each of the last two Bundesliga seasons, it would have been frankly ridiculous had Low persisted with overlooking the 31-year-old, and indeed Dortmund defender Mats Hummels, who has also received a recall after a long absence from the national team squad.

The self-proclaimed Raumdeuter may not be the easiest player on the eye at times, but his ability to find pockets of space and produce consistently tangible output both on and off the ball surely makes him Low's best central forward option in his preferred 4-3-3 formation.

Moreover, with 10 Bundesliga titles, six DFB-Pokals, two Champions Leagues and one World Cup to his name, Muller brings a proven winning mentality to help Germany's younger, less experienced players across the line in the unforgiving environment of a major tournament.


As already discussed, Euro 2020 will be Low's final major tournament in charge of Germany after stepping up from his role as assistant to replace Jurgen Klinsmann and lead his country as hosts ahead of the 2006 World Cup.

Indeed, Low was a major cog in Germany's successful 'Das Reboot' operation, which was an almost total reinvention of the way the country's academies and first teams coached footballers and approached football overall.

Group-stage eliminations at both Euro 2000 and Euro 2004 had exacerbated the need to overhaul one of the world's footballing superpowers given their state of decline, with Low significantly arresting that by unexpectedly reaching the semi-finals at World Cup 2006.

Since then, he has never looked back, guiding Die Mannschaft to at least the semi-finals of every major tournament with the exception of the disastrous 2018 World Cup.

The manner in which Germany won the 2014 World Cup, with the 7-1 demolition of hosts Brazil in the semi-finals sandwiched between narrowly edging France and Lionel Messi's Argentina both 1-0 in the quarter-finals and final respectively, ensures Low's legacy is forever secure.

However, the 61-year-old will be desperate to end on a high this summer, particularly after the embarrassment of 2018.


Best finish: Winners (1972, 1980, 1996)

Only Spain can match Germany's tally of three triumphant European Championship campaigns, although it is 25 years since their last trophy lift in Europe's major competition.

Soviet Union, Belgium and Czech Republic have been the three nations duly dispatched in each of Die Mannschaft's three victorious finals.

Germany have also been defeated in three European Championship final's themselves, with Czechoslovakia, Denmark and Spain beating them in 1976, 1992 and 2008 respectively.

They have qualified for every European Championship since 1972, failing to progress past the group stage in only three of their 12 appearances.

Overall, Germany have played 49 European Championship matches, winning 26 of them and scoring 72 goals while conceding 48.


While this does not feel like the strongest Germany side in recent memory, with Low's imminent exit an unwanted distraction, Die Mannschaft have overcome similar issues in the past to consistently progress deep into major tournaments.

Moreover, they appear to be in the favourable half of the draw. We think they may progress as one of the stronger third-placed teams given France and Portugal's phenomenal strength in depth, but expect them to benefit from a fairly kind route to make yet another semi-final appearance.

From there, anything can happen, but we think they may fall a little short.

VERDICT: Semi-finals body check tags ::

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