Tom Kundert’s Portugal v Germany preview: playing on the counter will suit Portugal
Our Matchday Squad journalist will be covering Portugal throughout Euro 2020
Portugal’s win against Hungary, coupled with Germany’s defeat against France, leaves Fernando Santos’ side well placed going into Saturday’s match in Munich. The Germans will have to make the running and that should suit Portugal, who traditionally do well playing on the counter-attack against strong teams.
Renato Sanches has enjoyed a renaissance at Lille and his explosive impact as a late substitute in Portugal’s opener may persuade Santos to include him in the starting line-up. Even if the midfielder begins on the bench again, he could play a similarly important role as in the first game by injecting dynamism, strength and a physical presence that is unique in Portugal’s squad.
Santos will likely stick with his double pivot at the base of midfield but may tinker elsewhere, with Andre Silva and Joao Felix candidates to make the starting XI after an out-of-sorts display by Diogo Jota.
Portugal have an atrocious record against Germany but perhaps for the first time in football history will go into a game against Die Mannschaft as favourites. The prospect of playing Germany may not make opponents shudder like in the past, but Joachim Low’s team are packed with high-quality players and will be fighting to stay alive in the tournament. Expect a hard-fought draw.