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Preview: Germany vs Scotland – stats, team news, line-ups

Preview: Germany vs Scotland - stats, team news, line-ups

The Allianz Arena in Munich forms the backdrop for Friday’s 2024 European Championship curtain-raiser as tournament hosts Germany kick off the campaign against Scotland in Group A.

For Die Mannschaft, hosting the Euros represents a golden opportunity to erase the sting of recent disappointments, while Scotland will be hoping to reach the knockout round for the first time.

This opening encounter promises to be an electrifying affair that sets the tone for the weeks of thrilling football to come.

Fans in Berlin can buy Germany vs Scotland tickets from to catch all the live action.

Following a string of underwhelming performances in major tournaments, the pressure is on Julian Nagelsmann to deliver. A victory against Scotland would be the ideal springboard to launch their Euro campaign.

This summer’s Euros marks a turning point for German football. It’s their first since the Joachim Low era ended with a heartbreaking last-16 defeat to England at Euro 2020.

Eighteen months after a disastrous World Cup 2022 performance under Hansi Flick, Germany are unsurprisingly favourites to qualify from Group A as winners, but they cannot afford even a hint of complacency.

Group A also houses Hungary and Switzerland, and after a decent start to life under Nagelsmann’s leadership, the Euros hosts head into the opening act with the wind in their sails.

Under new manager Nagelsmann, Germany have shown signs of resurgence.

Their record in 2024 friendlies boasts three wins and a draw, including victories over powerhouses like France and the Netherlands. Hosting the Euros also provides a significant advantage, eliminating the stress of qualifiers.

However, this lack of recent competitive matches is a double-edged sword. Germany haven’t featured in a competitive showdown since their inconsequential 4-2 win over Costa Rica at the 2022 World Cup.

Despite the recent struggles, Germany’s historical record as tournament hosts is impressive. They’ve reached the semi-finals in the last three major tournaments held on home soil, so they have every cause to be optimistic about their chances of success.

As Germany gears up to reclaim their past glory at Euro 2024, Scotland arrives at the Allianz Arena with a far humbler mission.

Heading into their 10th appearance on the continental stage, the Tartan Army are keen to avoid another forgettable outing at the Euros.

Scotland took just one point from nine on offer at Euro 2020, but they seem like a team reborn under Steve Clarke, as evidenced by their rampant Euro 2024 qualifier campaign.

Scotland’s qualifying journey was a tale of two halves. In the opening period, they embarked on a five-match winning streak, including an impressive win against Spain.

While they slumped in the latter stages, failing to win any of their last three games (D2, L1), their early form was enough to seal their place in Germany.

However, Clarke’s men enter the tournament with a single victory in their last nine outings across all competitions, and even that win against Gibraltar hardly offers reason for celebration.

It also doesn’t help that they have failed to win any of their last four games against Germany, most recently falling to defeat in a pair of Euro 2016 qualifiers by an aggregate scoreline of 5-3.

Match Preview

Germany head into Euro 2024 with a mix of cautious optimism and lingering doubts. While Nagelsmann’s reign as manager has brought a semblance of stability, their path hasn’t been without its bumps.

Nagelsmann’s tenure began with a resounding 3-1 victory over the United States, but a three-match winless run (D1, L2) against Mexico, Turkey, and Austria followed, casting some early confusion.

However, the Germans haven’t lost since that defeat to Austria, stringing together a four-match unbeaten streak (W3, D1), including back-to-back wins against France and the Netherlands.

Nagelsmann will be desperate for his side to pick up maximum points in the curtain raiser to bolster their chances of living up to their tag as Group A favourites.

The Germans have recently developed a knack for faltering when the lights are brightest, but they’ll be determined to put on a fine showing on their own patch.

Hosting the Euros adds extra pressure on the Germans. While the passionate home crowd can be a powerful motivator, it can also amplify nerves and any potential slip-ups.

A convincing opening match could be the key to setting the tone for a successful tournament and easing the burden of expectation.

Nagelsmann will also be looking to write his own chapter in German football history. He could become the first Germany manager to win a major tournament in his debut after Jupp Derwall in Euro 1980.

Scotland are making their fourth appearance at the Euros and would probably have been hoping for an easier start than going up against the hosts in the tournament’s opening match.

Clarke’s team qualified in second place behind Spain, pipping Norway to secure a Euro 2024 ticket.

Germany will undoubtedly enter the match as favourites, but it would be naive to write off Scotland’s chances of pulling off a massive upset before kick-off.

Scott McTominay surprised everyone by becoming the top scorer in their qualifying campaign.

His impressive seven goals is a joint record for Scottish players in Euros/World Cup qualifiers, placing him alongside Steven Fletcher and John McGinn.

What’s even more impressive is that his goals came from just 1.77 xG, an overperformance of 5.23, which emphasises his phenomenal clinical ability.

While these stats bolster confidence, Scotland’s run-up to the Euros is a cause for concern as they won just one of their four friendlies (D1, L2).

A win against Germany would do wonders for their confidence, but they must shake off any doubts and take on with the joint record winners, knowing they can cause damage.

Team News & Potential Line-ups

Some notable names were missing from Nagelsmann’s Euros squad, including Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry, and Timo Werner.

However, the former RB Leipzig manager was dealt a significant blow when Bayern’s Aleksandar Pavlovic was forced to withdraw from the squad due to illness.

Nagelsmann called up Borussia Dortmund’s Emre Can as a replacement, but he’s likely to go with Robert Andrich and Toni Kroos at the base of midfield.

In contrast, Scotland were one of the countries dealt devastating injury blows earlier this month.

Queens Park Rangers striker Lyndon Dykes was forced to withdraw from the squad with an ankle injury sustained in training.

Liverpool winger Ben Doak also pulled out, while Rangers’ John Souttar and veteran goalkeeper Craig Gordon faced the axe when Clarke announced his 26-man squad.

Germany potential starting line-up:

(4-2-3-1): Manuel Neuer; Joshua Kimmich, Jonathn Tah, Antonio Rudiger, Maximilian Mittelstadt; Toni Kroos, Robert Andrich; Jamal Musiala, Ilkay Gundogan, Florian Wirtz; Kai Havertz.

Scotland potential starting line-up:

(3-4-2-1): Angus Gunn; Jack Hendry, Grant Hanley, Kieran Tierney; Anthony Ralston, Scott McTominay, Billy Gilmour, Andrew Robertson; John McGinn, Ryan Christie; Lawrence Shankland.

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