Euro 2020: How Germany could line up against Hungary with star players missing
With World Cup holders France, European Championship holders Portugal, mighty Germany and an inspired Hungary side in the group, it was touted as the ‘Group of Death’ and there is plenty of excitement before the final matchday as Germany takes on Hungary while France take on Portugal.
France have already guaranteed their place in the Round of 16 as they cannot finish lower than third and even if they finish third in Group F they will rank ahead of both third-placed teams Ukraine and Finland by virtue of having already won four points.
But, Germany, Portugal and Hungary all still have a chance to make it to the knockout stages and Die Mannschaft will be high on morale as they take on Hungary following their big win against Portugal in the last game.
Joachim Low has fielded exactly the same starting XI in Germany’s first two games in the Euros but the 61-year-old will not have the luxury to stick to his first-choice XI against Hungary.
The Germans are currently sweating over the fitness of several key players and there could be several last minute decisions from the management.
With few players set to miss out due to fitness, we take a look at how Germany could line up against Hungary:
Manuel Neuer has returned to his very best over the past couple of years and his place between the sticks is guaranteed. In front of the sweeper keeper, Low is likely to keep his belief in a three man defence. Matthias Ginter is likely to retain his place at the right-hand side of the back three with Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger playing on the left-hand side.
But, there could be one big change with the leader of the backline Mats Hummels battling patellar tendon issues since the beginning of Germany’s training camp. The Borussia Dortumund star missed training on Monday (June 21) and was set to miss the Hungary game. However, he returned to training on Tuesday (June 22). And if Hummels is not risked for the Hungary game, Niklas Sule is likely to replace the veteran at the heart of the three-man defence.
Germany looked dangerous against Portugal thanks to their two wing backs Joshua Kimmich and Robin Gosens enjoying their games and they are likely to retain their places.
In the middle of the park, Toni Kroos and Ilkay Gundogan have started both games so far but Gundogan was a major doubt for the Hungary game having missed training on Monday (June 21).
However, he returned to training on Tuesday (June 22), but the Manchester City is unlikely to be risked against Hungary and there is very little chance that Leon Goretzka will take his place considering he has just come back from an injury setback.
Under such circumstances, Toni Kroos could be accompanied in the middle of the park by Kai Havertz with the wonderkid more than adept at playing in a deeper role.
Thomas Muller is certain to miss the game against Hungary having suffered a capsular injury while he was blocking a cross from Pepe the Portugal game, and Germany will hope that he will be ready for the Round of 16 unless Hungary come up with an upset.
In his absence, Leroy Sane of Bayern Munich is likely to take the place of the German icon. And, if Kai Havertz is deployed in a deeper role, his Chelsea teammate Timo Werner is likely to take his place.
Serge Gnabry looked really dangerous against Portugal in the false nine role and is destined to keep his place.
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