In the run-up to the EM this summer, Sports Mole is assessing the chances that a German team will win Europe’s largest international tournament for the fourth time.
Germany aim to win their first European championship since 1996 when they enter the Euro 2020 this summer.
This will be Joachim Löw‘s eighth and last major tournament as head coach of the German national team, with a glorious 15 years of service in this capacity, which will end in July.
After falling out of the group stage as defending champions at the 2018 World Cup, Low and his players will be under tremendous pressure this summer to be much better.
The team has at least reached the semi-finals at each of Löw’s three responsible European championships, so anything else would be considered a failure in the 61-year-old’s last major competition.
Here, Sports mole estimates Germany’s chances of winning the European Championship for the fourth time.
Although Germany was drawn as one of the top seeds, there was an incredibly difficult group in Group F alongside world champions France, defending champions Portugal and Hungary.
France and Portugal both have lower chances than Germany of winning Euro 2020 straight from certain bookmakers, so Low will be relieved to have the safety blanket of four of the six best third-placed teams advancing into the last 16.
Even if Hungary is generally expected to be the whipping boys of the “group of death”, they should not be underestimated after winning the group at Euro 2016.
Marco RossiThe team also has a home advantage in two of the three group games, but not against Germany, which will play each of its games in Munich as described below.
15th June: Germany vs. France (8 p.m., Munich football arena, Munich)
June 19th: Germany vs. Portugal (5 p.m., Munich football arena, Munich)
23rd June: Germany vs. Hungary (8 p.m., Munich football arena, Munich)
HOW YOU WERE QUALIFIED
Germany defeated the Netherlands and reached Group C in qualifying and automatically advanced to the finals of Euro 2020.
After the two group favorites had beaten each other, it was ultimately the 0-0 of the Netherlands against Northern Ireland that made the difference between the two big nations, albeit with minor consequences as the top two in each group automatically qualified for Der Competition.
After a difficult World Cup and Nations League season, however, it was important for Low to restore confidence in himself and in the team, although it remains to be seen how stable the fundamentals prove to be under the stress of a major tournament.
FC Bayern Munich striker Serge Gnabry played in the qualification with eight goals in eight games and shows how important he will be this summer, especially since he will be on familiar ground in the three German group games.
Since the end of the European Championship qualification more than 18 months ago, Germany’s form has not been overwhelming for a nation of its level, as Low’s team only won six of the last 13 games.
In fairness there were only two defeats in this run, but given the 6-0 defeat to Spain and an embarrassing 2-1 home defeat to the worst-placed nation in Euro 2020, North Macedonia, they have probably had a more lasting negative impact than it would have done all routine losses.
Germany’s two warm-up friendlies ahead of the big tournament this summer, however, were a little more encouraging, with a 1-1 draw with Denmark, supported by a 7-1 win over Latvia.
Six different goalscorers plus an own goal in victory show the sheer amount of players Low has available to enter during Euro 2020.
Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Bernd Leno (Arsenal), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Defender: Robin Koch (Leeds United), Christian Günter (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)
Midfield player: Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich), Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich), Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City), Jonas Hofmann (Borussia Monchengladbach), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich), Florian Neuhaus (Borussia Monchengladbach), Leroy Sané (Bayern Munich)
Forward: Kai Havertz (Chelsea), Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich), Kevin Volland (Monaco), Timo Werner (Chelsea)
STAR PLAYER – Thomas Müller
Two and a half years after Low from the squad to try to build for the future, Thomas Müller was appointed to the national team’s squad to gain valuable experience and quality in the attacking area.
After most of the assists in the last two Bundesliga seasons, it would honestly have been ridiculous if Low had overlooked the 31-year-old, namely Dortmund defender Mats Hummels, who was also called back after a long absence from the national team.
The self-proclaimed room interpreter may not be the easiest player on the eye at times, but his ability to find space and produce consistently tangible performance both on and off the ball certainly makes him Low’s best center-forward option in his favorite 4- 3. -3 education.
In addition, with 10 Bundesliga titles, six DFB Cup, two Champions League and one World Cup, Müller brings a proven winning mentality to help Germany’s younger, less experienced players in the relentless environment of a major tournament.
MANAGER – Joachim Löw
As previously discussed, Euro 2020 will be the last major tournament for Low in charge of Germany after stepping down from his assistant role to replace Jürgen Klinsmann and lead his country as hosts before the 2006 World Cup.
In fact, Low was a key cog in Germany’s successful Operation Das Reboot, which was an almost complete reinvention of the way the country’s academies and first-team teams trained footballers and approached football as a whole.
The group stage eliminations at both Euro 2000 and Euro 2004 exacerbated the need to overtake one of the world’s footballing superpowers in the face of its decline, with Low significantly halting this by unexpectedly reaching the semi-finals at the 2006 World Cup .
Since then, he has never looked back and has at least led the team to the semi-finals of every major tournament, with the exception of the disastrous 2018 World Cup.
The way Germany won the 2014 World Cup, with hosts Brazil 7-1 demolished in the semifinals between France’s narrow lead and Lionel Messi’s Argentina, both 1-0 in the quarter-finals and final, ensures Low’s legacy is forever for sure.
However, the 61-year-old is desperate to try to end on a high this summer, especially after the embarrassment of 2018.
RECORD OF THE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP
Best finish: Winner (1972, 1980, 1996)
Only Spain can keep up Germany’s record of three triumphant European Championship seasons, although it has been 25 years since the last trophy was lifted in Europe’s largest competition.
The Soviet Union, Belgium and the Czech Republic were the three nations duly dispatched in each of the team’s three winning finals.
Germany was also beaten in three European Championship finals itself, beating Czechoslovakia, Denmark and Spain in 1976, 1992 and 2008.
They have qualified for every European championship since 1972 and were unable to get past the group stage in only three of their 12 appearances.
Germany has played a total of 49 European Championship games, of which 26 have won, scored 72 goals and conceded 48 goals.
While this doesn’t feel like the strongest German team lately, the side has an undesirable distraction with Low’s impending departure, but the team has overcome similar issues in the past and has consistently advanced deep into major tournaments.
Additionally, they appear to be in the cheap half of the draw. We believe that given the phenomenal strength of France and Portugal, they will advance as one of the stronger third-placed finishers, but we expect them to benefit from a fairly friendly path to advance to another semifinal.
Anything can happen from there, but we think they’ll fall a little short.