England are preparing to take on Germany in Tuesday’s eagerly-anticipated Euro 2020 last-16 encounter.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at Die Mannschaft ahead of the Wembley clash.
Germany boast experienced players and exciting talents, but they are a side in transition and that has been evident in their results. Germany only won three of their eight matches in a challenging, condensed 2020 schedule, which ended with Low’s side losing 6-0 to Spain in the Nations League – the national team’s heaviest ever competitive defeat. If that was not bad enough, North Macedonia secured a shock 2-1 win in March as Germany lost a home World Cup qualifier for the first time since England ran out 5-1 victors in Munich in 2001. At Euro 2020 they rode their luck to finish second in Group F – the so-called ‘Group of Death’, with a 1-0 loss to world champions France followed by a thrilling 4-2 triumph against European Championship holders Portugal and a nervy 2-2 draw with Hungary in Munich.
Joachim Low could be coaching the German national team for the final time on Tuesday. Having served as assistant to Jurgen Klinsmann, the 61-year-old succeeded him as manager after the 2006 World Cup and has enjoyed 15 largely successful years at the helm. The 2014 World Cup triumph in Brazil was the pinnacle of a reign in which Die Mannschaft finished runners-up at Euro 2008 and made three other major tournament semi-finals. Things have come unstuck a little since reaching the final four at Euro 2016, with Germany failing to make it out of the group at the World Cup two years later. Former Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick is succeeding Low after the Euros.
The German squad boasts some impressive names throughout. Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer skippers the side and is at his sixth major tournament, so too is club-mate Thomas Muller. Both players have represented Germany on more than 100 occasions and started in the last major tournament meeting of these sides in 2010, with Muller scoring twice in a 4-1 World Cup last-16 win against Fabio Capello’s England. Mats Hummels, like Neuer and Muller, was part of the victorious 2014 side in Brazil and provides a sturdy presence in a back three that includes Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger and is flanked impressively by Joshua Kimmich and Robin Gosens. Toni Kroos – another World Cup winner – and Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan offer experience and skill in midfield, with Kai Havertz, Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry and Timo Werner among their attacking options. England will be interested in Jamal Musiala, given the 18-year-old committed to Germany earlier this year having represented England Under-21s just last November.