Euro 2012 Group Stage Preview: Germany vs. Denmark
In what is a very unfortunate scenario, Germany could get knocked out despite having two wins to their name. However, they are the only side with their fate in their own hands. A draw or a win will guarantee them top spot in the group and of course a spot in the quarterfinals.
Joachim Loew's Bayern boys promised the Dutch a victory against the Danes to help their former captain Mark Van Bommel and current midfielder Arjen Robben through to the quarterfinals.
The Danes have to deal with the absence of Dennis Rommedahl, by no means a small part of their side. Whether Nikki Zimling will play might be doubtful, too. For Germany, Jerome Boateng is suspended and will be absent. This for the Germans is the toughest fixture of the three despite the fact that Loew's side is quite confident of coming through.
The Portuguese made life difficult for the Germans; Germany just about nicked a win. The Dutch tried to control possession and break them open the Bayern way. Unfortunately, instead, they found their defence broken apart by the interchangeability of the German attackers. Against the Danish, they will face a side that will defend stoically. Denmark, however, did show that their defence is vulnerable against the Portuguese.
Loew has not ruled out taking some of his starters out for this one and giving them a rest. Whether this approach backfires remains to be seen. Germany historically has had problems against the Danes. In their last three friendlies, they did not record a single win against Morten Olsen's side. In 1992, famously, the Danes, who were huge underdogs, beat the Germans in the final, 2-0.
Germany just look a bit too convincing, however, to allow history to repeat itself. Despite what happened to Bayern against Chelsea in a match in which they were overwhelming favourites, the Germans are being backed for a victory against the Danes. The Germans aren't static in possession unlike Bayern and they are very quick. The defence has had two fantastic games so far as well.
If Germany records a win against the Danish and the Netherlands beat the Portuguese, the Germans and the Dutch will progress.
The big question surrounding this game, of course, is who will take over Boateng's spot. The player who is the favourite is Benedikt Howedes, who has shown before that he can play well as a full-back for Germany. Mario Gomez might be given a rest after a flawless display against the Dutch. Loew might consider keeping him around since he is the only one to have scored for Germany so far in the tournament.
This is what the line-up will most likely look like:
Benedikt Howedes, Holger Badstuber, Mats Hummels, Philipp Lahm
Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sami Khedira/Toni Kroos
Thomas Mueller, Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski/Andre Schuerrle
Mario Gomez/Miroslav Klose
The game will also be a battle between two master tacticians: Loew and Morten Olsen. Olsen is very animated on the touch-line. He lives and breathes Danish football very much like Loew. Loew looked worried and edgy throughout the clash against the Dutch despite the way his side performed.
So, who between the two coaches will be more edgy come Sunday? This clash should be a wonderful one to watch. Let me hear your thoughts on this game.
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