Germany will be playing for pride, when they face off against Netherlands in their final UEFA Nations League Group A1 tie on Monday night.

Faltering giants Germany will play hosts to neighbours Netherlands in their final game of the year at the Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen on Monday.

Germany have nothing but pride to play for on Monday, after their relegation from the UEFA Nations League A was confirmed when Netherlands beat France in their previous game on Friday night. Joachim Low’s men remain rooted to the bottom of the table in Group A1 having managed to accumulate just a single point from three games till date.

It has been an utterly disappointing year for Die Mannschaft and they will be aiming to bring curtains to 2018 with a victory against their neighbours. They defeated Russia 3-0 in a friendly game last week and will be hoping to carry that momentum forward on Monday.

Netherlands, on the other hand, have shown themselves to be a resurgent force under new manager Ronald Koeman, after missing the bus for the summer’s FIFA World Cup. They made light work of Germany during the previous international break and then defeated world champions France 2-0 this past week.

Currently sitting second in the group, a win or a draw at the Veltins-Arena would see Netherlands finish as the group winners and qualify for the UEFA Nations League Finals set to take place next summer. A defeat, however, would mean they remain second in the table, with France going through. And Koeman will be keen on ensuring that his team seal safe passage to the next phase.

Team News & Tactics

Germany

Marco Reus is back in contention after sitting out against Russia with a minor injury issue. Toni Kroos is also back with the squad, after being unavailable for the friendly encounter last weekend. However, Julian Draxler will miss out once again, having been absent for the tie against Russia on compassionate leave.

Low is unlikely to make any significant changes for the game, after seeing his team perform exceptionally in the 3-4-3 setup against the Russians. Manuel Neuer should continue between the sticks for the home side, with the three-man backline in front of him set to feature Matthias Ginter, Niklas Sule and Antonio Rudiger, meaning Mats Hummels misses out again.

Jonas Hector should continue as the left-sided wing-back for the Germans, while Thilo Kehrer seems to have established himself as the preferred choice on the opposite side. Joshua Kimmich is expected to continue in the middle of the park once again, but is likely to be partnered by the returning Kroos ahead of Kai Havertz.

Serge Gnabry scored a goal playing in the No. 9 role against Russia, but is expected to move out to the right flank on Monday, with Reus set to start in the central role. Leroy Sane should hold on to his spot on the left, having bagged a goal himself in the last game. Thomas Muller is likely to get his 100th cap for the national team coming on from the bench.

Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Neuer; Ginter, Sule, Rudiger; Kehrer, Kimmich, Kroos, Hector; Gnabry, Reus, Sane

Netherlands

Koeman has no new injury concerns heading into the tie against Germany and given how impressive his team were on Friday against the World Cup winners, no major changes are expected from the Netherlands manager.

Barcelona goalkeeper Jasper Cillesen should continue between the sticks for the Oranje, with Denzel Dumfries and Daley Blind set to occupy the full-back slots on the right and the left sides respectively. At the heart of the defence, it will be captain and star defender Virgil van Dijk, pairing up with teenage sensation Matthijs de Ligt.

Another promising youngster, Frenkie de Jong, should take up one of the two pivot positions in the middle of the park for the visitors. He is likely to be partnered by the experienced Marten de Roon. Georginio Wijnaldum will continue in the free role in behind the main striker for the Dutch.

Steven Bergwijn has been very impressive since making his debit for the national team and should continue on the right wing against the Germans. On the left-side, Ryan Babel is expected to keep his spot ahead of Quincy Promes. Memphis Depay has been in red-hot form and should spearhead the attack once again for Netherlands ahead of Luuk de Jong.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Cillesen; Dumfries, de Ligt, van Dijk, Blind; de Roon, de Jong; Bergwijn, Wijnaldum, Babel; Memphis

Key Stats

  • The two nations have met 41 times previously, with Germany having the upper hand with 15 wins, while Netherlands have ended up on the winning side on 11 occasions (D15).
  • Germany have won more times in the Netherlands (eight) than they have against the Dutch at home (seven).
  • Netherlands’ 3-0 win against Die Mannschaft last month was their first since 2004. During this period, the Dutch had gone five games without a victory against their neighbours (D3 L2).
  • Thomas Muller will be making his 100th appearance for Germany should he take the field at the Veltins-Arena on Monday night.

Player to Watch

Memphis Depay

Man in form (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Man in form (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Having struggled to make a mark at Manchester United, the 24-year-old attacker has revived his career in France with Olympique Lyon over the past twenty months or so. Depay has been in sensational form for his club this season, having already bagged six goals and set up six more from 17 matches across all competitions.

The 24-year-old’s form at club level has convinced Koeman to stick with him in the central role in attack for Netherlands and Depay has delivered the goods. He was on the scoresheet against France last week and has scored four goals in his last five international appearances.

The former Manchester United star will once again have a key role to play on Monday if the Dutch are to bag three points against Germany.

Prediction

Germany 1-2 Netherlands

Germany and Netherlands share a fierce rivalry and following the humiliation last month, Die Mannschaft will be keen on exacting revenge by ensuring that their opponents don’t qualify for the Nations League finals next year.

Netherlands, on the other hand, will be in buoyant mood after a dominating performance against France last time out and will be drawing great confidence from their brilliant win against the Germans in October.

The Oranje are likely to be fatigued having exerted themselves so much against the world champions, which could make things a little difficult for them. However, they have defied expectations and risen against odds to clinch important victories in the recent past. And, we at The Hard Tackle expect them to do so once again and progress to the finals of the UEFA Nations League.