Europe: European Championship
2 - 4
(1 - 2)
C. Ronaldo (15), R. Dias (35), R. Guerreiro (39), D. Jota (67)
K. Havertz (51), R. Gosens (60)
By Matias Bengolo@scpaderbornen

Analyzing Germany's starters: Is Löw's selection good?

An unchanged side for Germany tonight: Neuer, Rüdiger, Hummels, Ginter, Kimmich, Kroos, Gündogan, Gosens, Müller, Gnabry, Havertz are all starting, is Joachim Löw correct to stick with the same eleven?
"Löw is too stubborn to change". You hear that quote a lot in Munich nowadays, ravelled with different degrees of anger. Some believe the Bundestrainer overthinks big games, just like other wilful coaches Pep Guardiola. Some would argue that Löw is presenting his footballing mind again today, sticking with the same eleven that struggled to keep up with absurd Ngolo Kante passes and Kylian Mbappe's dazzling pace just days earlier.

The question is: Has Löw given Germany the best chance of winning against Cristiano Ronaldo's European Champions?

Portugal have lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Danilo and William Carvalho as the two 'holding midfelders'. In front of them is a three of Diogo Jota, Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva. Fernandes will play anywhere on the park, receiving passes from the full-backs Nelson Semedo and Raphael Guerreiro who love to get forward, Guerreiro scored Portugal's first goal in Hungary. The first question for Die Mannschaft lies in the midfield. Why is Joshua Kimmich presumably not there?

The first point of concern again for German fans is the position of arguably the most important player in the team, Joshua Kimmich. On paper, Germany are facing a weaker midfield compared to the French's. It's difficult to say who will mark Bruno Fernandes, Ilkay Gündogan was the furthest back for Germany's midfield against France. I do think it wouldn't be much of a problem if Kimmich was the holding midfielder, man-marking Fernandes. It would be easier for Germany to control the midfield and pass in transition, too.

The defense isn't too much of an issue. Germany looked assured for most of the game against France, it was just the creativity that was missing. Not having to play through Ngolo Kante is a big plus for the Germans, passes will be able to get through the Portuguese midfield easier. Germany can score, Germans have scored all season for their respective club sides, Kai Havertz scored the winner in the Champions League final. Germany will get chances tonight, they just need to take them when they arrive.

Löw keeps faith with his style and Germany need points. Germany won't like the prospect of a possible 'win or go home' fixture against Hungary on the final day, a win is massively needed today.

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