European Championship Last 16: Germany vs. Denmark

The knockout stages of the European Championship have finally arrived, and the excitement is palpable. With the group stage behind us, where favorites eased through without fully exerting themselves, we now have 16 teams vying for glory. The new system, allowing four of the six third-place teams to advance, has kept the competition fierce and unpredictable. Despite a thrilling start with plenty of goals, the final round of group matches saw a dip in excitement, with three of the eight games ending in goalless draws as teams played it safe to ensure progression.

Germany Team News

Germany, having exorcised the demons of their last two World Cup campaigns that ended in premature group-stage exits, secured their knockout place early by scoring a combined seven goals against Scotland and Hungary. Facing Switzerland on the final matchday, Julian Nagelsmann’s men needed just a draw to top their group. Despite falling behind to a Dan Ndoye goal, Niclas Fullkrug’s injury-time equalizer ensured Germany’s status as group winners, avoiding a tough last-16 clash with reigning champions Italy.

Nagelsmann must now tweak his starting XI due to Jonathan Tah’s suspension after accumulating two yellow cards. Additionally, Antonio Rudiger is a doubt with a hamstring issue, although there is optimism about his recovery. If Rudiger can’t play, Nico Schlotterbeck will likely step in, with Robin Koch and Waldemar Anton on standby. Fullkrug’s impactful performance against Switzerland has given Nagelsmann a selection headache up front, but Kai Havertz is expected to retain his starting spot.

Denmark Team News

Denmark navigated Group C – marked by its lack of goals – to clinch the second spot with three draws. Despite scoring only two goals, Morten Hjulmand’s stunning strike against England remains a highlight of the tournament. Now, they aim to improve quickly if they are to stand a chance against the hosts, Germany.

Coach Kasper Hjulmand faces a similar selection dilemma, with Morten Hjulmand suspended due to yellow card accumulation. Fortunately, Denmark has depth in midfield with Brentford’s Christian Norgaard and Mathias Jensen, as well as Thomas Delaney, who recently recovered from illness. Up front, Jonas Wind’s starting position is under threat from Andreas Skov Olsen, Kasper Dolberg, or Yussuf Poulsen, given his lack of impact in recent matches.

Germany Form

Germany has been in formidable form this year, remaining unbeaten in their seven matches and securing five wins and two draws. They showcased resilience and attacking prowess in their group games, particularly in their high-scoring wins over Scotland and Hungary. Their draw against Switzerland, although not their best performance, demonstrated their ability to secure crucial results when needed.

Denmark Form

Denmark, meanwhile, also boasts an unbeaten streak in 2024, with just one loss in their last 15 matches. Despite their low-scoring games in the group stage, they have shown they can be tough to beat. However, to advance further, they will need to find a way to convert their defensive solidity into more attacking threat.

Predicted Lineups

Germany: Neuer; Kimmich, Schlotterbeck, Rudiger (if fit), Mittelstadt; Kroos, Andrich; Musiala, Gundogan, Wirtz; Havertz.

Denmark: Schmeichel; Andersen, Christensen, Vestergaard; Bah, Hojbjerg, Delaney, Maehle; Eriksen; Hojlund, Wind.

What Have the Managers Said?

Julian Nagelsmann, Germany: “Denmark are a very well-organized team. They can be very aggressive defensively and make great one-touch attacks. With experienced players and a clear structure, they are a tough opponent. Playing at Dortmund Stadium, known for its loud atmosphere, will hopefully work in our favor.”

Kasper Hjulmand, Denmark: “Germany were one of my pre-tournament favorites. It’s unfortunate we have to play them now, but we also have quality and talent. Our traveling fans in Dortmund will inspire us, and we will be ready for the challenge.”

Our Verdict

While Germany’s final group game was not their finest, they are expected to rise to the occasion in the knockout stages. Denmark has kept their matches close but struggled to score, and this might be their undoing against a resilient German side. We predict a 2-0 victory for Germany, securing their place in the quarter-finals.

Key Stats

  • Germany are unbeaten in their last seven matches in 2024.
  • Denmark has qualified for the knockout stages of back-to-back Euros for the first time ever.
  • Both teams share a seven-match unbeaten run this year.
  • Germany’s last competitive win against Denmark was in the 2012 European Championships.

Germany and Denmark’s clash promises to be an intriguing encounter, as both sides look to cement their place in the tournament’s later stages.

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