D.Germany surprisingly goes into the round of 16 of the European Football Championship with Timo Werner in the starting line-up. Against England this Tuesday (6 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the European Football Championship, on ARD and MagentaTV) it is about getting into the quarter-finals against Sweden or the Ukraine. Serge Gnabry is not in the starting line-up of national coach Joachim Löw. For Ilkay Gündogan (bruised skull) Leon Goretzka will also appear for the first time at this European Championship from the start. For Leroy Sané, who started against Hungary, Thomas Müller, who was last struck in the knee, is back, as expected.
Manuel Neuer is in the gate. Matthias Ginter, Mats Hummels and Antonio Rüdiger defend in front of him as usual. Joshua Kimmich and Robin Gosens are placed on the outside. In the central midfield, Toni Kroos and, for the first time, Goretzka, who was missing with an injury for a long time before the European Championship, are supposed to ensure order. The attack is made by Müller, Kai Havertz and Werner, who plays at Chelsea FC in London and has not been in the starting line-up at this tournament so far. Rüdiger and Gosens got over their colds in time. Löw did without the injured Lukas Klostermann as well as Jonas Hofmann and Christian Günter in his 23-man squad.
England are betting on these eleven players from the start: Jordan Pickford, Kyle Walker, Luke Shaw, Declan Rice, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Kieran Trippier, Kalvin Philipps and Bukayo Saka. Phil Foden is missing from the starting eleven. Instead, coach Gareth Southgate apparently wants to choose a more defensive route. The young Dortmund star Jadon Sancho sits like his club colleague Jude Bellingham again only on the bench. The only two tournament goals so far have come from Manchester City.
The tension is enormous. “People still talk about the games between Germany and England in tournaments years later,” said the national coach before the hit. England versus Germany, the Three Lions, who have strengthened in recent years, versus the DFB team that was newly put together at the last moment: “This is a game that electrifies and captivates everyone. It’s an all-or-nothing game for both of them. That is why it is explosive. ”Löw senses:“ Everyone is motivated to the tip of their hair. ”
Löw is not yet thinking of a possible abrupt end to his national coaching era after 15 eventful, successful years, but also some disappointing experiences. “I thought about it for a total of two seconds,” said the 61-year-old. A TV journalist once asked Löw about it in the afternoon on Monday, and then a colleague at the official UEFA press conference in London that evening wanted another answer to this question.
“I don’t see the game from that point of view. I have a lot of other thoughts in my head. Above all, there is great joy. You are a coach for such a game, ”emphasized Löw before his 198th international match as head coach of the DFB. Only once, at the embarrassing World Cup in 2018, has he not made the semifinals at a major tournament during his time as national coach since 2006.
The fans: 45,000 spectators can attend the Wembley Stadium, which is causing astonishment and even bewilderment in view of the increasing corona infections and the rapid spread of the Delta variant across Europe. Only 2000 German fans living in Great Britain are due to the travel restrictions in the pandemic in the 90,000-seat Wembley Stadium. “Logically, when you have 40,000 fans behind you, that’s seen as an advantage. But it can also be a disadvantage and a burden for them if the English do not come into play. It is up to us to ensure that there is silence in the stadium, ”said the national coach.
The goal: Wembley is supposed to be just a stopover. The German players are more and more reluctant to set goals for the special pan-European tournament. Whether shooting star Robin Gosens or two-time tournament goalscorer Kai Havertz: winning the title is announced as the desired end of the road. “This is based on 100 percent conviction. We players and the staff firmly believe that we can become European champions. It would also be bad if it weren’t for that, “said Champions League winner Havertz from Chelsea:” Because we have a top team, a great coaching team and a good mentality. We just have to manage to get our quality. “
The way: Officially, of course, nobody wants to talk about it yet. But the way to the second round raises hopes for even greater things. Sweden or Ukraine would be opponents in the quarter-finals in Rome, then the Czech Republic or Denmark in the semi-finals again in Wembley. But first of all, England must be defeated. “It will be a test of patience. England can defend well and counter well. We always have to be careful, “said captain Manuel Neuer:” But we have experienced and good people that we can defend it well against such a good team. “