With Group C getting started on Sunday and the Euros getting underway later today, I thought it would be a good idea to review Germany’s chances at this year’s tournament.
Germany had to contend with the retirement of players such as Phillip Lahm, Per Mertesacker and Miroslav Klose heading into the qualification stages for Euro 2016 but got off to a good start by beating Scotland 2-1 at home. However, they then suffered, for the first time ever, a 2-0 loss to Poland, aswell as a 1-1 draw against fellow qualifiers Republic Of Ireland, before recovering to beat qualification debutants Gibraltar 4-0 . Germany then defeated Poland in the return leg before losing away to Ireland. They then did the double over Scotland and Gibraltar before finishing top of the group and securing their qualification by doing the double over Georgia and by beating them 2-1 in the final game of the group.
For me, the squad is a strange one picked by Joachim Low. He has made the controversial decision of leaving out Germany’s best winger, in my opinion, Marco Reus and he also made the decision to leave out Karim Bellarabi while Ilkay Gundogan will miss the tournament through injury. Even though Lukas Podolski is the most capped player heading to France with his country, I feel that his form in recent years doesn’t merit it, having played 30 games for Galatassary this season and getting 13 goals from his favoured left-mid position.
Joachim Low. What really can be said about this man? He’s a miracle worker. He turned title favourites into world beaters at the last World Cup. Like many managers on the international stage now, Low didn’t have a great playing career. Despite becoming a legend at Freiburg, amassing over 200 games for the German club, Low never really made it onto the continental stage as a player but has managed to become one of the best managers of his time within the ‘beautiful game.’
I feel that Mesut Ozil will be one of the key players for Germany during this year’s Euros. The 27-year-old Arsenal midfielder has an eye for a pass and has a top-notch set piece delivery. After making his international debut in 2009, Ozil and Germany have not looked back as the former Schalke man has amassed 73 Germany caps to date.
Yet again, Thomas Muller is going to be a star for Germany at his 4th international tournament. Muller is a born goalscorer and whether he is the lone striker, on the wing, playing with a partner up front or behind someone else he can always be counted upon to score the goals which can fire Germany toward international success.
How will the Germans fare in the Euros?
Germany are predicted to yet again be one of the strongest teams at the tournament and it is hard to see why people would disagree with this. They have the ‘sweeper keeper’ Manuel Neur in goal, a sturdy backline which includes Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng, a creative midfield which includes the likes of Mesut Ozil, captain Bastian Schweinstieger and an impressive forward line which only includes 3 out-and-out forwards; Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane and Mario Gomez.
I believe that Germany will reach the semi-finals but fall short at the final hurdle. I think that Germany will be able to breeze through their group. Yes, Poland, Northern Ireland and Ukraine are no pushovers but I feel that Germany will be able to beat Northern Ireland and Ukraine but draw with Poland. But, it is to be seen who Germany will face in the knockout rounds but I feel that the final may be a step too far this time around.