Germany Euro 2020 preview: Key players, strengths, weaknesses & expectations

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It just doesn’t seem right heading into a major international tournament with Germany sitting outside the top ten of the FIFA World Rankings.

Die Mannschaft are experiencing a bit of a lull by their impeccably high standards, though if anything that means we should probably be ever more wary of them at Euro 2020 this summer.

The tournament represents Joachim Low’s swansong as Germany boss, with former Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick waiting in the wings to replace the outgoing World Cup winner, and wouldn’t it be just typical of Low to defy the odds and lead his side to European Championship glory in his final act as national team boss?

There’s a lot of familiar faces in their squad this summer along with some perhaps not so familiar ones, and here’s 90min’s rundown of everything you need to know about the German side…

Germany breezed through their qualifying group which contained Northern IrelandGermany breezed through their qualifying group which contained Northern Ireland

Germany breezed through their qualifying group which contained Northern Ireland / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Having just built your hopes up by telling you how unusually subpar Germany have been of late, we’re now going to do the complete opposite.

Low’s men pretty much breezed through qualifying, winning seven of their eight outings to finish top of Group C. Their only dropped points came at home to the Netherlands as their leaky defence reared its ugly head once again and they shipped four in a 4-2 home defeat.

That being said, they did secure an impressive 3-2 win in the reverse fixture earlier in the campaign so swings and roundabouts we suppose.

Germany notched an impressive total of 30 goals in their eight Group C outings, an amount bettered by just one team in the groups of teams who played only eight games – that team was England.

Germany's midfield options are stackedGermany's midfield options are stacked

Germany’s midfield options are stacked / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

If you fancy watching a team packed with midfield maestros who make the game look easy then Germany are the team for you.

Toni Kroos, Joshua Kimmich, Ilkay Gundogan, Leon Goretzka – the list genuinely goes on. Not only do they have the players needed to dominate a game, they’ve also got goals from midfield with Thomas Muller and Kai Havertz included in Low’s 26-man squad.

There’s also tons of pace in the wide areas with Bayern Munich duo Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry, though they’ll be relying heavily on Kevin Volland up top given Timo Werner has spent most of the season playing out on the left for Chelsea.

It feels almost wrong to say this, but Germany’s defence is far from the backline we usually associate with Die Mannschaft.

Mats Hummels has been recalled to the squadMats Hummels has been recalled to the squad

Mats Hummels has been recalled to the squad / Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Antonio Rudiger’s impressive end to the season has at least given Low another option at the back, though their need to call upon the services of an ageing Mats Hummels says a lot about where they’re at right now.

It wouldn’t be unfair to call the current crop of Germany defenders competent rather than world-class, and Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s omission from the squad through injury means their goalkeeping department is hardly stacked either, with the distinctly average Bernd Leno drafted in as one of the backup options to Manuel Neuer.

Low’s side have kept just two clean sheets in their last 11 outings – a run which includes a 6-0 hammering by Spain – and if you’re looking for a weakness in their squad then their defence is definitely it.

Havertz could have a huge part to play in Germany’s Euro 2020 campaign. The Chelsea man will undoubtedly be on a high having scored the winning goal in the Champions League final, and having struggled for large parts of his first season with the Blues he should be desperate to show just how good a player he can be.

One man who probably feels like he has a bit of a point to prove his Muller. The Bayern man was frozen out by Low shortly after his side’s disastrous 2018 World Cup campaign, though the German boss has been forced to include him in his Euro 2020 squad after his consistently brilliant season.

Muller will want to prove he can still cut it on the international stage and his creativity could be key to Germany scoring the goals they’ll need to make it out of their tricky looking group.

Manuel Neuer will take his place as first-choice goalkeeperManuel Neuer will take his place as first-choice goalkeeper

Manuel Neuer will take his place as first-choice goalkeeper / Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Bernd Leno (Arsenal), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Defenders: Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Monchengladbach), Emre Can (Borussia Dortmund), Niklas Sule (Bayern Munich), Lukas Klostermann (RB Leipzig), Robin Koch (Leeds), Robin Gosens (Atalanta), Christian Gunter (Freiburg)

Midfielders: Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Ilkay Gundogan (Man City), Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich), Kai Havertz (Chelsea), Florian Neuhaus (Borussia Monchengladbach), Jonas Hofmann (Borussia Monchengladbach), Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich)

Forwards: Timo Werner (Chelsea), Leroy Sane (Bayern Munich), Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich), Kevin Volland (Monaco)

It’s so boring spouting the usual ‘never underestimate the Germans’, yet could this actually be the tournament where we’re right to not consider them among the favourites?

Could Joachim Low experience a disastrous end to his reign?Could Joachim Low experience a disastrous end to his reign?

Could Joachim Low experience a disastrous end to his reign? / Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

A shocking group stage exit at the 2018 World Cup, a defence that seems incapable of keeping clean sheets and a really tricky group to navigate their way out of? Maybe we should be writing them off.

Low’s side line up alongside Portugal, France and Hungary in Group F, and despite the quality of their opposition you’d fancy them to make it to the knockout rounds – even if it is via a third-place finish – though it’s difficult to see them reaching the latter stages.

Prediction: Quarter-final

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