Thomas Fenton’s Portugal v Germany preview: Joachim Low to keep faith with experience
Our Matchday Squad journalist will be covering Germany throughout Euro 2020
For Germany, the task against Portugal is a clear one. There was an obvious reluctance from the host nation to overcommit during their Group F opener against France, but this time around, a win is surely needed.
Portugal will provide a stern test for Joachim Low’s men, as against Hungary in what was a very hostile atmosphere the reigning European Champions created ample goal scoring opportunities. Germany will most likely be on the front foot once again at the Allianz Arena, with Cristiano Ronaldo and co fancying their chances on the break against the aging legs of Mats Hummels.
Germany could be handed a fitness boost ahead of the clash, as Bayern Munich’s Leon Goretzka continues his comeback from injury. Don’t expect the powerful midfielder to start, but if IIkay Gundogan has another quiet game like he did against France, a late Goretzka cameo is very possible. There’s a high probability that Low will choose to stick rather than twist with his team selection, as the manager is clearly putting his faith in senior figures like Hummels, Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos.
Overall, I’m anticipating an even contest over the 90 minutes. If the hosts can utilise Joshua Kimmich’s crossing ability from the outset, I expect Die Mannschaft to eventually unlock the Portuguese defence and seal a narrow win.