Euro 2020-21: Portugal vs Germany – Preview

Introduction

The titans of Europe are all set to clash on Saturday in Euro, as Germany takes on Portugal at the Allianz Arena. Germany is slightly in a spot of bother following their 1-0 defeat to France, in their opening Group F fixture. The upcoming fixture could be a must-win game for the Germans, as a defeat could reduce their chances of finishing in the Top 2 and they would then have to rely on the other nations to secure a place in the next round.

Portugal already termed as favorites with France, Belgium, Spain started their campaign with the 3-0 win over Hungary. Even though they would certainly be happy with the result, their performance was far from clinical and convincing for most of the game. They had to rely on deflections to break the deadlock.

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The deflected goal from Raphael Guerreiro and two goals from the Talisman – Cristiano Ronaldo, sealed the game late for the Portuguese. As for Germany, they need a positive outcome so that they build momentum to progress further to the next game. Despite the poor result, Die Mannschaft fans will be happy to watch their team never says die spirit and attitude on the field.

Why Should You be Watching?

The two heavyweights are going to battle with each other, isn’t this enough for you not to watch this tie?  Despite having won both the European competitions (Euro’16 & Nations League), Portugal would need to be at the top of their game to get a positive result and seal the spot for the next round. Even though are in transition, Germany is still the force in Europe and certainly can live up to the expectations. The Germans are well reputed for winning such high-profile competitions.

EURO - GERMANY VS PORTUGAL

Build Up

Germany enters this game with a defeat. Even though the momentum isn’t on their side, their morale must be definitely high, as they play this fixture at their home. Post-2018 World Cup debacle, Joachim Löw has taken tough decisions in omitting nonperforming players and has given chance to the new generation to shine at such a stage.

The European Champions(Euro 2016 ) enter this competition as “Favourites” to defend this title. Even though their gameplay has not been clinical, we are pretty sure they are going to build their momentum on the results they get, as they progress. The Selecao have plenty of experience as well as the talent across the pitch, to justify the hype around them.

Form

Portugal: WWDWD

Germany: LWDLW

Head to Head

In their last four encounters, Germany has won all four matches against Portugal. This definitely will be a morale booster for the Germans, who will look to keep this record intact. For Portugal, they can always make the better of their records by motivating themselves with this record.

Last 4 Germany v Portugal results:

Germany 4 – 0 Portugal (FIFA World Cup 2014)

Germany 1 – 0 Portugal (UEFA Euro 2012)

Portugal 2 – 3 Germany (UEFA Euro 2008)

Germany 3 – 1 Portugal (FIFA World Cup 2006)

Last time Portugal beat Germany in any major competition, was in Euro 2000.

Predicted Line-ups

GERMANY

GK: Manuel Neuer

Defence: Matthias Ginter, Mats Hummels, Antonio Rüdiger, Christian Gunter

Midfield: Joshua Kimmich, Ilkay Gündogan, Toni Kroos

Forward: Kai Havertz, Thomas Müller, Serge Gnabry

PORTUGAL

GK: Rui Patricio

Defence: Nelson Semedo, Pepe, Ruben Dias, Raphael Guerreiro

Midfield: Danilo Pereira, Renato Sanches, Bruno Fernandes

Forwards: Bernardo Silva, Joao Felix, Cristiano Ronaldo

Players to watch out for

Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo

A lot will be expected from the five-time Ballon D’or winner. The prolific forward scored two goals against Hungary to become the highest ever goalscorer in the Euro’s competition. Being the Talisman and Portugal’s MVP, coach Fernando Santos will heavily rely on Cristiano Ronaldo to be the game-changer.

Portugal

Bruno Fernandes

The attacking midfielder will have to play a pivotal role to join the strings between the defense and the attack. Known for his smart and crisp passing, Fernandes keeps the tempo ticking. Even though his numbers aren’t great for the National Team, Bruno Fernandes created most chances in their game against Hungary.

Pepe

The veteran defender is still going strong at the age of 38. His experience to organise the backline and his authoritative skills make him the leader of the backline. Considering Germany boasts players like Muller, Gnabry, Werner & Kai Havertz, Portugal would need Pepe to be at his absolute best to keep the German attack at bay.

Germany

Serge Gnabry

The versatile forward can play on the right, left, and in the center. Gnabry has used this versatility as his weapon to terrorize the defenders. Ever since he has started for Bayern Munich, his renaissance has been incredible. Even though Gnabry didn’t get many chances against France, his pace and in-and-out dribbling would cause plenty of headaches to Raphael Guerreiro and Ruben Dias.

Germany

Thomas Müller

The experienced attacker still has plenty of goals and assists to offer for  Germany upfront. Müller had a tumultuous 2018 World Cup campaign however, he has rediscovered his form and has been at his absolute best ever since Hansi Flick took the charge at Bayern Munich. He would certainly look to replicate the same in National colors.

Manuel Neuer

Even though he hasn’t had a good season by his standards, the goalkeeper is still in the Top three goalkeepers of the modern game. The German captain did pretty well and made some good saves against the brutal French attack. He will play a pivotal role in holding his centre backs together and making sure that the Portuguese attack doesn’t grow as the game progresses. Joachim Löw would hope that Neuer’s presence in the squad and his impact in the dressing room would help the team get a positive result.

Conclusion

The mouth-watering clash is certainly the most anticipated fixture for the weekend in Euro. It is a crunch game for both the teams, a victory for Germany will rekindle their hopes for finishing in the top 2, and victory for Portugal would assure them of top 2 places in the Group of Death. Die Mannschaft does have a psychological advantage, given their head-to-head record against Portugal, it will be interesting to see if the Selecao can turn the tables around to their side this time. Which team can turn the tides around and which team can keep the ship intact, is what we will find out tonight.

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