Germany will take on England in the second round of the UEFA Nations League A Group 3 at the Allianz Arena in Munich. Both the European heavyweights failed to secure victory in their opening match of the tournament. They will be hoping to pick up their first wins on their second attempt when they renew their longstanding rivalry in Munich on Tuesday night.
The hosts Germany, began proceedings in League A Group 3 with a 1-1 draw with Italy, while last summer’s Euro 2020 runners-up England suffered a demoralizing and shocking 1-0 loss at the hands of Hungary.
When Germany took on Italy in their first UEFA Nations League encounter of the current cycle, the opponent’s starting XI had a very unfamiliar look to it. Head coach Roberto Mancini had decided to rotate heavily and the vast majority of the Euro 2020 winning squad were nowhere to be seen on the pitch. However, the reigning champions of Europe performed impressively, especially given their setback a few days ago at the hands of Argentina. They managed to hold an in-form and impressive Die Mannschaft to a 1-1 stalemate in Bologna, even with lighter resources.
Debutant Wilfried Gnonto impressed with his wing play down the right-hand side and this allowed Lorenzo Pellegrini to convert his chance from close range with 20 minutes remaining on the clock. While it seemed to be the sucker punch that Itay would have been hoping for heading into the second half, Germany bounced back almost three minutes later with Joshua Kimmich scoring to ensure that points would be split between the two parties after the conclusion of the full 90 minutes.
Thanks to Kimmich’s equalizer that resulted in a draw, Germany were able to stretch their unbeaten run to 10 matches across all competitions since their Euro 2020 elimination at the hands of England. After the first round, they find themselves second in the rankings in League A Group 3 and will be hoping to progress to the finals for the first time in the history of this relatively nascent competition.
Die Mannschaft have come close but have tried and failed on the previous two occasions to progress to the deeper stages of this particular competition. Of course, it is the year of the World Cup and most priorities lie in Qatar. However, progression into the knockout rounds of the Nations League will be a true test of Germany’s mettle and will also be a way for Hansi Flick to see how his side measures against some of the best teams in the world.
Flick will also be keen to avoid Germany’s fate from the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The defending champions suffered a group stage exit on that occasion and it was the beginning of the end for the Joachim Low era with the national side. The new head coach has previously served as Low’s assistant, during the 2014 World Cup triumph in Brazil.
A measly tally of just two victories from their 11 UEFA Nations League matches so far is obviously a surprising set of results for a side of the caliber of Germany. With that being said, however, they are still unbeaten at home in the competition. The frontline has performed superbly under Hansi Flick and has shown no signs of stopping.
England’s previous clash against Hungary to kick off their 2022-23 UEFA Nations League campaign wasn’t without its fair share of controversy. Only children and their guardians were permitted to attend the clash in Hungary given the country’s recent record of racism that resulted in fans being banned from the stadium. However, that did not stop them from booing and responding negatively when the players took the knee before the start of the match. The Three Lions also looked extremely underwhelming, disjointed, jaded, and out of ideas which unsurprisingly, led to a defeat.
It hadn’t even been two whole minutes that Reece James had come on to the pitch from the bench in the second half, that he went on to bundle Zsolt Nagy in his own box. This gave the hosts a spot kick from 12 yards and Dominik Szoboszlai completely capitalized on the opportunity. He needed no second invitation to the task and sent the ball into the net to secure massive morale-boosting 1-0 win for his side.
Questions are being asked against of Gareth Southgate once again following England’s first defeat since the Euro 2020 final against Italy. The manager highlighted the fact that the heat in Budapest was a contributing factor to his side’s lackluster performance. However, heat will also be a factor when England embark on their 2022 World Cup campaign in the desert country of Qatar.
The loss to Hungary has left them in the relegation playoff of League A Group 3 after just one match and there’s still plenty of football left to be played. Despite their fans’ mixed feelings surrounding the idea of the Nations League, the Three Lions cannot gamble demotion to League B at any cost.
Before being held by Marco Ross is defence at the Puskas Arena. England had gone on a streak of 14 consecutive matches where they found the back of the net. However, Gareth Southgate’s team have now gone three matches without scoring a goal away from home in the UEFA Nations League. He will have to figure out a way to make sure his attackers tick in the final third of the pitch against a difficult and challenging opponent in Germany.
The last time these two sides met each other, the Wembley Stadium was bouncing in joy and all its glory as England dumped Germany out of the Euros with a 2-0 victory in the last 16 stages of the competition just a year before. The last time England secured a triumph on German soil was nearly six years ago in 2016. On that occasion, Eric Dier had scored a 91st-minute winner.
GER vs ENG, UEFA Nations League
Date: 8th June, 2022
Time: 12:15 AM IST
Venue: Allianz Arena, Munich
Germany Nations League form:
Germany form (all competitions):
England Nations League form:
England form (all competitions):
Germany wins: 15
England wins: 14
Germany Team News: In their opening UEFA Nations League encounter against Italy, Germany did not pick up any new injury concerns. However, a veteran of several years Marco Reus was absent from the clash due to illness and did not make it to the final squad.
The 33-year-old Borussia Dortmund talisman will hope to recover in time to appear in this high voltage clash with England. However, Karim Adeyemi, who recently completed his move to Borussia Dortmund, was also absent from the squad due to stiff competition for places in the final third of the pitch.
Kai Havertz and Ilkay Gundogan will love the opportunity to take to the field against some of their Premier League counterparts from England and youngster Jamal Musiala should also partner Bayern teammates Thomas Muller, Serge Gnabry, and Joshua Kimmich in midfield and the final third.
Manuel Neuer should start in goal while reliable defenders Niklas Sule and Antonio Rudiger will be expected to shore up the backline.
England Team News: England debutant James Justin meanwhile, had a first appearance to forget against Hungary on Saturday. The Leicester City defender had to be subbed off at the halftime interval after complaining of a calf discomfort.
Gareth Southgate will be against the idea of making too many changes and taking any further risks. Defenders Fikayo Tomori and Marc Guehi are also uncertain for this contest and star midfielder Phil Foden’s recovery from a bout of COVID 19 will also have to be monitored.
Raheem Sterling had also been battling illness but is expected to return to fitness for this clash. He is expected to partner with Manchester City teammate Jack Grealish while Harry Kane will lead the line as usual.
England are expected to go ahead with the Manchester City and Manchester United defensive duo of John Stones and Harry Maguire.
Germany possible starting lineup:
Neuer; Kehrer, Sule, Rudiger, Raum; Gundogan, Kimmich; Gnabry, Muller, Musiala; Havertz
England possible starting lineup:
Pickford; James, Stones, Maguire; Alexander-Arnold, Rice, Phillips, Saka; Sterling, Kane, Grealish
Gareth Southgate had opted to rotate and experiment with his lineup considering a relatively easy fixture with Hungary. However, it is safe to say that it did not go according to plan and instead, blew up in his face in Budapest. England cannot afford to make mistakes anymore as promotion to League B is looming. They will have to return to their prolific nature in front of goal against a German side whose defense is far from being impenetrable.
Germany also had a hard time against an experimental Italy XI a couple of days ago. One would’ve expected ruthlessness from Hansi Flick’s side given the difference in quality, but instead, they had to struggle to secure a draw. Die Mannschaft will have to be more clinical as they enter this contest. They will also be aware of England’s frailties away from home in the Nations League and Southgate’s team will be under pressure to perform.
Germany will be the favourites to seal another victory in front of home fans in Munich as it looks very difficult for the Three Lions to be inspired to make a dramatic turnaround in fortunes following their collapse in Budapest merely 72 hours ago.