Portugal vs Germany preview

UEFA EURO 2020 PREVIEW: GERMANY VS PORTUGAL, BOTH SIDES LOOKING FOR ALL THREE POINTS IN THE PIVOTAL FIXTURE

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The German capital is prepared to host a scintillating fixture in the second round of group stages as two mighty teams will have a tactical battle at the Allianz Arena on Saturday, June 19. Germany will take on defending champions Portugal in a decisive Group F fixture.

After losing their first game against world champions France due to a first-half own goal, Germany will want to make the most of the remaining six points on offer in order to secure their qualification in the Round of 16.

 

 

It will be a difficult ride for Die Mannschaft taking their recent form into consideration, which includes a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of rivals Spain and a shock defeat to North Macedonia in the past few months. The recent 1-0 loss to France in has harmed their chances of getting through to the next stage, but Ronaldo-led Portugal stands in the way.

Portugal cruised their way past the first group game against underdogs Hungary, with a cosy 3-0 victory. The Hungarians held them down till the 84th minute and looked like they might get something out of the game. But one deflected goal sucked their confidence, and a Ronaldo brace in the next eight minutes sealed the result.

 

 

The defending European champions haven’t lost since November 2020, winning five of their last seven games. Regardless of the form both teams are in, when two giant talent pools like Germany and Portugal collide, the result can only be awaited, not predicted.

 

TEAM NEWS

Joachim Loew has announced the return of Leon Goretzka to first-team training and he’s deemed fit to play. The only absentee in the German squad will be winger Jonas Hoffman, giving them a fully fit first-team lineup.

 

 

The first game saw an overall disappointing performance, with no clear cut chances. Loew will need to reevaluate his tactical approach against Portugal, who are defensively very proactive and don’t often leave spaces behind.

The 3-4-3 formation didn’t go according to the plan against France, but a similar approach with a better mindset and a few tweaks can turn things around for Germany.

Germany Probable Lineup: Neuer; Ginter, Hummels, Rudiger; Gosens, Kroos, Kimmich, Klostermann; Havertz, Muller, Gnabry

 

Fernando Santos will miss one of his primary first-team player Joao Cancelo, who was ruled out of the squad at the last moment after contracting coronavirus. He was replaced by U21 Euro runner-up Diogo Dalot. There aren’t any fitness issues in the updated squad and the Portuguese manager will have a difficult choice to make selecting eleven players from a squad brimming with talent.

 

A 3-0 victory might make him go with the same lineup as the first game, but Joao Felix may get an opportunity in place of Diogo Jota considering his below-average performance in the first game.

Santos is likely to go with the same 4-2-3-1 formation that can mould into a 4-3-3 according to the in-game situation.

Portugal Probable Lineup: Patricio; Guerrero, Dias, Pepe, Semedo; Carvalho, Fernandes, Pereira; Felix, Ronaldo, B. Silva

 

 

GAME CHANGERS

Portugal’s attacking engine Bruno Fernandes was in sublime form in the match against Hungary and despite making no direct goal involvement, he was one of the best performers in the match. Germany’s high backline and the use of wingbacks will allow Fernandes to utilise his inch-perfect passing and otherworldly vision to the fullest, finding teammates on either flank to spread the German defence.

 

 

Fernandes is allowed to play a free role behind the striker and use his creative abilities to create goals for the team. His long-range shooting will be another threat for sweeper-keeper Manuel Neuer.

His direct opponent, Toni Kroos is the creative head of Joachim Loew’s team and his performance will be the deciding factor for Germany’s progress in the tournament. Kroos runs the tempo of the midfield for the Germans but couldn’t provide his best in the regrettable game against France. The 31-year old midfielder likes to find his teammates’ runs behind the opposition defences, provided by the likes of Gnabry, Havertz and Werner.

 

 

In the 3-4-3 formation alongside Gundogan, defensive responsibility held the Real Madrid star back and a pairing with Joshua Kimmich might unlock his full potential. Kroos’ performance will be the deciding factor for Germany’s progress in the tournament.

 

PREDICTIONS

Germany will want to bounce back from the unlucky defeat in the first game but Portugal won’t let them have it easy either. They leave spaces for opponents to counter and Santos’ side will aim to exploit this factor and secure their place in the Round of 16 with a win. However, Loew will try to avoid similar mistakes in the decisive game and outplay the defending champions to secure their first points on the table.

FootTheBall predicts a 2-1 win for Portugal.

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