Monday, July 15, 2024

Prediction: Germany vs Denmark

Verdict: Germany win

Best odds: 11/18

Bookmaker: BetUS

In the second Euro 2024 last-16 tie on Saturday, hosts Germany will face Denmark at the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund during the late kick-off.

Julian Nagelsmann’s squad secured the top spot in Group A to advance comfortably into the knockout stage, while their Scandinavian opponents clinched second place in a largely unremarkable Group C.

Germany

Germany have managed to banish the ghosts of their last two World Cup campaigns, both of which ended in early group-stage exits, by securing a place in the Euro 2024 knockout stages with a game to spare. Dominant performances saw them net seven goals combined against Scotland and Hungary, cementing their status as group leaders.

On the final matchday, needing only a draw against Switzerland to ensure top spot in Group A, Die Mannschaft faced a scare when Dan Ndoye’s goal threatened to push them down to second place. However, in dramatic fashion, Niclas Fullkrug scored an injury-time equalizer on home soil, solidifying Germany’s position as group winners and avoiding a last-16 clash with the reigning champions, Italy.

Interestingly, this result may have inadvertently placed Germany in a more challenging side of the knockout draw, alongside other heavyweights like Spain, France, Portugal, and Belgium. Should they overcome Denmark, Germany could face either Spain or the surprisingly good Georgia in the quarterfinals.

As they prepare to take on Denmark at Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund, Julian Nagelsmann’s side will draw confidence from their unbeaten streak in 2024, which includes five wins and two draws.

Team News

Nagelsmann opted for consistency with the same starting XI throughout their Group A campaign. However, for the last-16 clash against Denmark, he will be compelled to make at least one change due to Jonathan Tah’s suspension after accumulating two yellow cards.

Adding to the selection headache, Tah’s central defensive partner Antonio Rudiger has been dealing with a hamstring issue and missed recent training sessions. Despite the setback, there remains optimism regarding the participation of the Real Madrid defender. If fit, he is expected to line up alongside Nico Schlotterbeck. Should Rudiger be unavailable, Robin Koch and Waldemar Anton are poised as potential replacements.

Up front, Niclas Fullkrug’s dramatic equalizer against Switzerland has provided Nagelsmann with more attacking options, but current indications suggest that Kai Havertz will maintain his spot in the starting lineup.

Denmark

Group C of Euro 2024 was a defensive grind, with just seven goals scored across six matches – the lowest tally ever in a men’s European Championship group stage, equaled only by a group involving Germany in 2016. Despite the low-scoring nature of the group, Denmark managed to secure second place thanks to draws against all three rivals – England, Slovenia, and Serbia.

The Danes contributed only two of the group’s seven goals, though Morten Hjulmand’s spectacular strike against England is a standout contender for the tournament’s best goal. This goal, along with their resilience, helped Denmark qualify for the knockout stages in consecutive Euros for the first time in their history.

Facing the hosts Germany, Denmark will be acutely aware of the need for rapid improvement if they are to upset the favorites. They come into the match sharing Germany’s seven-match unbeaten streak in 2024 and have suffered just one defeat in their last 15 games.

Their last competitive encounter with Germany in the 2012 European Championships ended in a 2-1 defeat, with goals from Lukasz Podolski and Lars Bender. However, their most recent meetings in friendlies have ended in 1-1 draws, indicating a potential for a closely fought contest.

Team News

Hjulmand also faces a selection challenge for the Euro 2024 knockout match against Germany, as Sporting Lisbon midfielder Morten Hjulmand is suspended after accumulating a pair of yellow cards. This absence forces the Denmark boss to reconfigure his midfield, though he has several capable replacements.

The Brentford pair, Christian Norgaard and Mathias Jensen, are strong candidates to step into the midfield void left by Hjulmand. Also, Thomas Delaney, who recently overcame illness to feature as a substitute against Serbia, offers another reliable option.

In attack, Jonas Wind’s form has dipped since his crucial assist for Christian Eriksen against Slovenia. This opens the door for Andreas Skov Olsen, Kasper Dolberg, or Yussuf Poulsen to challenge for a starting spot, providing Hjulmand with multiple choices to bolster his forward line for this crucial encounter.

Conclusion

While Germany’s performance against Switzerland in their final group match was underwhelming, it might be attributed to their already secured last-16 spot, allowing them to ease off somewhat. A revitalized German team is expected to show up at the Signal Iduna Park for the knockout clash.

Denmark has a knack for keeping matches tight at Euro 2024, but even with potential adjustments in Germany’s defence, Nagelsmann’s squad should comfortably handle Denmark’s frequently ineffective offence. Germany are likely to progress to the quarterfinals, but they will likely have to work hard to get there.

Verdict: Germany win

Best odds: 11/18

Bookmaker: BetUS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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