Portugal - Germany

Europe: European Championship
Portugal C. Ronaldo (15), D. Jota (67)
Allianz Arena2-4Attendance: 12.926
Germany R. Dias (35), R. Guerreiro (39), K. Havertz (51), R. Gosens (60)

Should Löw and Germany move away from the 3-4-3?

By Matias Bengolo

In the aftermath of the 1-0 defeat to France, many experts and tactical observers have been demanding a change of formation: from 3-4-3 to a 4-at-the-back with an extra midfielder. Should this happen?

Joachim Löw.
Joachim Löw.Photo: Granada, CC-by-SA 4.0

Germany lacked any cutting edge on Tuesday and when Joachim Löw's side had the ball, they didn't do a great deal with it. Only one attempt on target with 59% of the ball wasn't promising - observers are fearing the same fate as 2018.

Granted, in the World Cup 'Die Mannschaft' never had any real problems creating chances, 72 shots over the three group fixtures, the problem was the lack of finishing when needed most. The problem now, however, is the formation doesn't work with the personnel, but the players are there.

A clear point of concern from the experts was the position of arguably the team's most important player, Joshua Kimmich, into a wide role with not much perceptible benefit.

In some eyes Kimmich should've been in the heart of midfield, shielding the threats of Paul Pogba and Ngolo Kante who were very impressive on the night. The move of Kimmich to midfield would've allowed Germany to be more flexible in the middle with three, effectively outnumbering France's with Kimmich, Kroos and Gündoğan.

For those wishing and hoping for a quick switch for the Portugal game may need to rethink. Germany have trained and morphed the 3-4-3 system since the North Macedonia defeat in late March. Germany have only a couple of training sessions before each game and I'm not sure the Bundestrainer will feel there is adequate time to really embed the system switch to a good level before facing Cristiano Ronaldo's European Champions.

However, if the worst outcome happens and Germany are needing a win against Hungary on the final group match, it wouldn't surprise anyone if Löw has a change of heart and allows a simple 4-3-3, giving Germany the freedom of another creative midfielder to ensure a victory against a presumed already-eliminated Hungary.

As Borussia Mönchengladbach defender Matthias Ginter said on Thursday's press conference "It's always dependent on the opposition", and if there's another disappointing result on Saturday it may be time to move back to the 4-3-3 that served Germany so well in 2014.

1Rui Patrício
2Nélson Semedo
4Rúben Dias
5Raphaël Guerreiro
13Danilo Pereira
10Bernardo Silva ↩46
11Bruno Fernandes ↩64
14William Carvalho ↩58
21Diogo Jota ↩83
7Cristiano Ronaldo (C)
12Anthony Lopes
22Rui Silva
9André Silva ↪83
15Rafa Silva ↪58
17Gonçalo Guedes
6José Fonte
20Diogo Dalot
8João Moutinho ↪64
16Renato Sanches ↪46
18Rúben Neves
19Pedro Gonçalves
26João Palhinha
1Manuel Neuer (C)
4Matthias Ginter
5Mats Hummels ↩62
2Antonio Rüdiger
6Joshua Kimmich
21İlkay Gündoğan ↩73
8Toni Kroos
20Robin Gosens ↩62
25Thomas Müller
7Kai Havertz ↩73
10Serge Gnabry ↩87
12Bernd Leno
22Kevin Trapp
9Kevin Volland
11Timo Werner
19Leroy Sané ↪87
3Marcel Halstenberg ↪62
15Niklas Süle ↪73
24Robin Koch
26Christian Günter
17Florian Neuhaus
18Leon Goretzka ↪73
23Emre Can ↪62

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