Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Switzerland v Germany: Nagelsmann sets sight on top spot in Group A

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 21 Jun 2024

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Julian Nagelsmann wants his Germany team to stay perfect as they aim to top Group A at Euro 2024.

The hosts secured qualification for the last 16 by dispatching Hungary 2-0 last time out, following on from their 5-1 demolition of Scotland.

Their final group match sees them take on Switzerland, who are two points behind in second place, meaning a defeat for Germany on Sunday would see the Swiss top the group.

That is a scenario that Nagelsmann is desperate to avoid, as he confirmed there will be few changes to his line-up, despite Germany’s progress having been assured.

“Top spot is important. We want to win all our matches,” Nagelsmann said.

“I do think it is important to have as many players from the starting 11 on the pitch so that we stay in the rhythm.

“Do not expect to have seven changes to the team. I can rule that out now.”

Germany’s match with the Swiss will take place in Frankfurt, where England and Denmark played on Thursday, with both sides struggling with how the pitch chopped up.

Deniz Undav, however, says teams simply have to adapt to the surfaces.

“There a still a few days left, so maybe the pitch will improve until then,” said the forward.

“But you have to be able to adapt to the conditions. We want to win on Sunday. So, whether we play on grass or stones, we have to win.”

Switzerland’s Xherdan Shaqiri, meanwhile, knows his team must expect the sternest of challenges.

“We know we are now up against a team that is of a different calibre with their super attack and the euphoria [as hosts],” he said.

“But we are going into the game with confidence and look forward to it. Obviously, we want to trouble the Germans.”

Opta’s supercomputer makes Germany favourites to win the group, with a 77% likelihood the hosts finish top.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Switzerland – Xherdan Shaqiri

Only Cristiano Ronaldo has scored in more major international tournaments than Switzerland forward Shaqiri, who has now netted at each of the last six such tournaments since and including the 2014 World Cup.

In fact, Shaqiri is the only European player to have scored at the last six major tournaments.

Germany – Jamal Musiala

Musiala is aiming to become the first Germany player to score in each of his nation’s opening three games at a major tournament since Miroslav Klose at the 2002 World Cup, and the first ever to do so at the European Championship.

Aged 21 years and 118 days when this game is played, he would be the second-youngest player ever to do so for any nation, behind only Peru’s Teofilo Cubillas (21y 94d) at the 1970 World Cup.

MATCH PREDICTION: GERMANY WIN

This will be Switzerland and Germany’s first encounter at a major tournament since the 1966 World Cup; West Germany beat Switzerland 5-0 in the group stages. They also met in the 1938 and 1962 World Cups.

Germany have won each of their last three games at major international tournaments by 2+ goals (4-2 v Costa Rica, 5-1 v Scotland, 2-0 v Hungary) with the Netherlands at the 1974 World Cup the last nation to record four such victories in a row.

They are aiming to become the third host nation to win all three of their group stage games at a single edition of the European Championship after the Netherlands in 2000 and France in 1984.

Meanwhile, they would be the first host team to do so at a major international tournament since the Germans themselves at the 2006 World Cup (Excluding Euro 2020 – 11 host nations).

However, Switzerland are unbeaten in their last three matches against Germany (W1 D2), with those three matches producing 16 goals, an average of 5.3 per game. The Swiss had lost 16 of their previous 18 matches against the Germans (D2), so they should certainly not be discounted.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Switzerland – 23.5%

Germany – 52.3%

Draw – 24.2%

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

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