Germany kick-start their preparations for the UEFA Euro 2020 when they take on Denmark on Wednesday at the Tivoli stadium.
Following the heated quarter-final affair between Germany and Denmark in the UEFA U-21 championship, the two nations will once again collide on Wednesday, on the senior international stage, beginning their Euro 2020 preparation in a friendly.
Heavily tagged as one of the tournament favourites, Germany are under immense pressure to perform, especially after their debacle in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. They have, though, announced Hansi Flick as the next manager, meaning Euros 2020 will be the last tournament for Joachim Low.
The German tactician will be desperate to finish his reign on a high, and with many managerial positions vacant, he will be aware of the fact that Die Mannschaft’s strong display in Euros could help him land a high profile job in the summer.
Denmark, on the other hand, are one of the most exciting teams heading into the European championships. They have a young, talented squad, led by Kasper Hjulmand. They will be keen on securing a win over Germany in this friendly, as it will serve as a major confidence booster.
Their opponent, though, have been reinforced by the addition of certain experienced individuals who have improved their ranks and are ready to replicate the country’s performance in the 2014 World Cup.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over these two sides ahead of their pre-tournament friendly at the Tivoli Stadium in Tyrol this midweek.
Team News & Tactics
🎙️ @matshummels über seine Nominierung:
„Ich hatte es mir als Ziel vorgenommen, mich wieder in die Mannschaft reinzuarbeiten. Das wollte ich unbedingt schaffen. Aus Ehrgeiz und weil es für mich eine Ehre ist, für Deutschland zu spielen.“#DFBPK #Hummels #DieMannschaft pic.twitter.com/QPr5jbn4Ji
— Die Mannschaft (@DFB_Team) May 31, 2021
Joachim Low will have the opportunity to test some of his new players, especially as the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Antonio Rudiger and Ilkay Gundogan remain out after featuring in the UEFA Champions League final.
Mats Hummels looks like a guaranteed starter in defence, after being ostracised by Low himself for more than a year. His experience and leadership will be invaluable at the heart of Germany’s backline, as he looks to partner Matthias Ginter at centre-back.
Christian Gunter received a deserved call-up from Low following his heroics with SC Freiburg. He is in contention to start in the left-back position for Germany this midweek but could be reserved for the upcoming game against Latvia.
Instead, we might see Lukas Klostermann and Robin Gosens occupying the wing-back roles, while Germany’s goalkeeping coach Andy Kopke has already confirmed that Manuel Neuer will start in goal, ahead of Bernd Leno and Kevin Trapp. It will be the 99th cap for the Bayern Munich goalkeeper.
Things get more interesting in midfield. Leon Goretzka has had difficulties with his fitness, and might not be risked. Instead, it is Emre Can who might occupy the number six role, partnering Joshua Kimmich and Toni Kroos in the three-man Germany midfield.
Moving forward, Havertz and Werner’s absence means it will be an ideal opportunity for Low to try his luck with Kevin Volland. The former Hoffenheim forward had done an incredible job with Monaco this past season and might spearhead Die Mannschaft attack this midweek.
Volland should be partnered by Thomas Muller and Leroy Sane, with Serge Gnabry likely to be introduced later in the game, along with Goretzka and possibly, Niklas Sule.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Neuer; Klostermann, Ginter, Hummels, Gosens; Can, Kimmich, Kroos; Muller, Volland, Sane
Denmark’s Andreas Christensen was involved in the Champions League final, so he will be unavailable for this particular encounter. Fortunately for Kasper Hjulmand, though, he has no shortage of quality defensive options.
Simon Kjaer, as the captain, is already a guaranteed starter at the heart of the four-man backline. Alongside him, Joachim Andersen could take up Christensen’s position, although Jannik Vestergaard is also an option.
Elsewhere, Hjulman is likely to continue with the full-back duo of Daniel Wass and Joakim Maehle, although Jens Stryger Larsen is also pushing for a place in the starting eleven.
In midfield, both Mathias Jensen and Christian Norgaard were involved in the Brentford side that recently secured Premier League promotion by beating Swansea City in the play-off final. Hjulmand, therefore, might just stick with the double-pivot of Thomas Delaney and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
These two offer a nice mix of aggression and ball-winning qualities that should be ideal in neutralising Germany’s possession-based system. As for the creative department, the onus will be on Christian Eriksen to provide supply in the final third.
Andreas Skov Olsen, meanwhile, is likely to be given the nod ahead of Yussuf Poulsen, occupying the wide attacking role alongside Martin Braithwaite, with Jonas Wind spearheading the attack once again. The youngster is quite versatile in regards to his positioning and might interchange positions between him and Braithwaite.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel; Wass, Kjaer, Andersen, Maehle; Hojbjerg, Delaney; Olsen, Eriksen, Braithwaite; Wind
- Germany and Denmark drew 1-1 when these two teams last met each other, in an international friendly back in 2017.
- Denmark have begun their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign in emphatic fashion, securing three back to back wins, during which they have scored 14 goals without conceding one.
- Germany, in contrast, won their first couple of matches before succumbing to a shocking 2-1 defeat at the hands of North Macedonia.
- Die Mannschaft need to shore up their defence, though, having kept just two clean sheets in seven matches.
- Denmark, in contrast, have only missed two clean sheets in their last eight international fixtures.
Player to Watch
This friendly will be a special one for Thomas Muller, as he marks his return to the national team after a long absence. The team had visibly lacked the creative essence, without his services in the final third, as well as the vigour and aggression in the going forward.
Muller will be hoping to change that, even though we do expect him to be included in the starting eleven. The German has already enjoyed a superb season, notching up 21 assists and playing a vital role in Bayern Munich’s ninth successive Bundesliga title win in 2020/21.
It will be interesting to see how Joachim Low employs Muller, though. The forward typically likes to operate centrally in the number ten position, but may have to settle for a wide role due to the 4-3-3 formation. Alternatively, he could start alongside the midfielders, though that remains unlikely.
Germany 2-0 Denmark
The return of Hummels is set to shore up the Germany defence that has lacked discipline and experience. The likes of Christian Ginter and Emre Can have been in good form as well, so we expect Die Mannschaft to keep a clean sheet.
As for the attacking department, Thomas Muller will surely offer the clever movements that could make the job easier for the likes of Leroy Sane and Kevin Volland to penetrate the Danish defence. The Hard Tackle expects a 2-0 victory for Joachim Low’s men.