Germany ahead of Portugal game: More pressure

Germany ahead of Portugal game: More pressure

Status: 19.06.2021 10:13 AM.

The German national team lost its Euro Opening game against France. Now Jogi Lo’s team is facing Portugal and will have to score to have a good chance of progressing.

by Marcus Barks (Herzogenarach)

Once again, the German national team moves to the second group game in a major tournament with zero points. The psychological pressure is again high, but the situation before the game against Portugal is different from the World Cup in Russia.

Experience can be a treasure, but in this case few German players would like to do without it. Manuel Neuer, Antonio Rudiger, Joshua Kimmich, Thomas Müller, Timo Werner and Toni Kroos in the starting line-up of the German team which was to win against Sweden at the 2018 World Cup on June 23, 2018. Chances of reaching the round of 16.

Offensive gestures while easing pressure

When Jerome Boateng was dismissed in the 82nd minute, the end was almost sealed at 1:1. But Kroos, chasing a free kick, scored in the 95th minute. The players rejoiced at the corner flags, with DFB staff incensing the Bank of Sweden with aggressive gestures. The psychological pressure was reduced. Everything seemed fine now. Another victory against South Korea, who had no points by then, would save the world champions from the humiliation of failing as defending champions in the preliminary round.

euro with safety net

The above players are certainly expected in the German squad, with the exception of Timo Werner, who will take on Portugal in Munich today at 6 pm. Again the psychological pressure is high, as again the opening game of a major tournament is lost 0:1. It happened then against Mexico, this time against France. The situation can only be compared to a limited extent, as Euro 2020 has a safety net. The four best thirds also advance in a group, unlike the 32-team World Cup, where a round of 16 is easier to put together.

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lots of arithmetic games

So it is very useful that we look at other groups as well. In Group A, Switzerland will have to win against Turkey, which has been disappointing so far, if the third group will have at least four points. Third in Group D would also have four points if the match between Croatia and Scotland had been the winner. Ukraine and Austria will have four points each if their duel in Group C ends in a draw.

Five years earlier, when a European Championship with 24 teams was held for the first time in France and currently in legal mode, two thirds advanced to the Round of 16, having only three points after the preliminary round. This time maybe that’s not enough. It is more likely for the German team to not be allowed to lose than to win.

Birhoff: Cutting a “National Affair”

Chancellor Angela Merkel

Image: AFP

This would hardly change the psychological pressure, especially since DFB director Oliver Bierhoff stylized the performance as a “national affair”. And so government spokesman Stefan Seibert was asked if Chancellor Angela Merkel would watch the game against Portugal. Of course, “but not in the stadium” was his answer.

Merkel will see a team made up of Borussia professionals from FC Bayern, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Manchester City and the Bundesliga. All of them have already played in the Champions League, most of them dozens of times, and many have even won it. They are familiar with the psychological pressure in games against top level teams.

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improve offensive play

The starting point of not losing it under any circumstances will hardly change the attitude of wanting to win the game. Germany needs to improve its offensive game. How this can be done has been analyzed several times over the past few days and also addressed by the national coach.

A team that has scored one goal against Latvia, two against North Macedonia and six against Spain must assume that it must have scored at least one goal against Portugal to score at least one point. The strategy Lowe is planning for the game today should be at least a little more risk-taking, with roughly the same basic structure. But the principle of being behind the ball with at least one player more than the opponent should be abandoned only when they are behind and in the second half as soon as possible.

The pressure to win, possibly even with a margin of several goals, would be felt only by the DFB’s selection in the final group game against Hungary, just three years after the duel with Sweden.



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