Portugal will be looking to book their spot in the knockout round of the UEFA European Championship with a game to spare when they take on Germany in Munich on Saturday evening.
In what is definitely a crucial tie for both sides due to the nature of the group as well their current standings, both sides will hope to keep their quest for the championship alive. Portugal hope to seal qualification to the Round of 16, while the Germans on the other hand hope to restore their ailing ship.
Germany’s outgoing manager Joachim Low, hoping to bid his final farewell on a high, was left with disgust after his side lost at home to Didier Deschamps’ side on Tuesday. The loss created an unwanted record for the Germans, as before Tuesday they had not lost an opening game at the European Championships.Embed from Getty Images
The fixture against a Cristiano Ronaldo led Portugal brings an opportunity for the Germans to make a statement as title favorites. The last two meetings between both sides have seen the victory go the way of the German, including a resounding 4-0 victory at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Pepe will need to be more careful this time, as he saw himself sent off in the fixture. Meanwhile, Thomas Muller will be hoping to strike goad again, having bagged a hat trick when they last met.
Portugal will hope to banish the ghost that still haunts them, as they are yet to defeat the Germans in a major competition in the last fifteen years. But with Cristiano Ronaldo having his sight set on both Alli Daei’s all time goal scorer tally and as well the record for most goals scored at the Euros and World Cup combined, currently held by Miroslav Klose, this fixture promises to be full of excitement.
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Nuno Mendes is carrying a slight thigh problem and had to train away from the main group on Thursday, but Portugal do not have any other injury concerns heading into this game. Mendes is a promising young fullback, but Raphael Guerreiro was always likely to start either way.
As for the Germans, defender Matthias Ginter had earlier emerged as a doubt after being forced off in the latter stages of the clash with France, but the centre-back is expected to be fit to start once again.
POSSIBLE STARTING XI’S
Portugal (4-3-3) – Rui PatrIcio, Nelson Semedo, Ruben Dias, Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro, Danilo, William Carvalho, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota
Germany (3-4-2-1) – Manuel Neuer, Matthias Ginter, Matt Hummels, Antonio Rudiger, Joshua Kimmich, Ilkay Gundogan, Toni Kroos, Robin Gosens, Leroy Sane, Thomas Muller, Serge Gnabry
It promises to be an exciting encounter as both sides will be looking to go all out for the victory in their quest for Round of 16 qualification.
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