Saturday, July 24, 2021

Germany receive Goretzka boost as Low prepares for tough French test

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 14 Jun 2021

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Joachim Low believes Germany have the right mix in attack to cause France problems as the two heavyweight nations prepare to do battle at Euro 2020.

Tuesday’s huge clash pits the previous two World Cup winners against each other in Munich, with reigning European champions Portugal and Hungary the other nations in Group F.

France have been boosted by the international return of Karim Benzema, the Real Madrid striker joining Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud – who is five goals shy of Thierry Henry’s record of 51 goals for Les Bleus – as attacking options for head coach Didier Deschamps to utilise.

However, on the eve of the contest, Low has made clear he is not short of talent in his own squad, meaning defenders for both sides will have to be on high alert at all times.

“It’s obvious we also have a lot of qualities in our team, a good balance and the right mix in attack,” Low told the media on Monday.

“We have a lot of quality. Timo Werner, Leroy Sane, these are players who can decide matches. Kai Havertz, Thomas Muller and Serge Gnabry too.

“I think both attacks are a real threat, you shouldn’t let them out of sight.

“You have to be focused every minute, because all of these players can score and be decisive.”

Leon Goretzka could be involved in his country’s opening fixture having trained with his team-mates as he continues his recovery from a torn muscle.

“It’s only Jonas Hofmann who is not available. All other players have joined in with training, Leon as well was with us,” Low said when asked for a squad update.

“I think he [Goretzka] trained four or five sessions with the team, overall he gave a good impression and he doesn’t feel anything from his injury.

“He won’t be risked, but I’ve said to Leon we will talk after our final training session. It’s clear that he won’t be in the starting XI just because the break he’s had is too long.

“We will talk and take a decision over whether he can be on the bench, maybe give him some minutes. We will talk with the medical department about him too, I just wanted him to participate in training and if something wasn’t going well he could tell me.”

For Low, this is the start of his farewell tour with the national team. He will step down once the tournament is over but hopes to be celebrating after his final game in charge.

“I don’t think about it that it’s my last tournament, my last matches. I’m just too focused on preparations for this tournament,” he said. 

“I’m focused on this year, maybe in a few weeks, hopefully when we’ve won the tournament, then I might be sad. But not at the moment, I’m focused on our task here.”

Low’s former assistant Hansi Flick will take over after Euro 2020.

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