HomeNewsGermany vs. Scotland Preview: Euro 2024 Group Stage Opener

Germany vs. Scotland Preview: Euro 2024 Group Stage Opener

Euro 2024 kicks off with an interesting clash between host nation Germany and Scotland. The home team will hope to get off to a good start in front of their fans by securing all three points on Matchday 1.

While Germany is considered favorites to win the first game of the Euros, they face a tricky test against a Scotland team that has shown they can compete when they need to. The Tartan Army stunned the world last year when they defeated Spain in the Euro Qualifiers and could spark an upset in the group stage opener.

Frankly speaking, defeating the hosts should prove too much of a task for Scotland, considering home advantage, Germany’s lethal attack line, and the level of experience in its rotation. But Nagelsmann will be making a huge mistake if he underestimates Scotland’s potential to steal a point or even secure all three.

Given that it is the first game of the tournament, fans can expect high demand for Scotland tickets against the host, as thousands look forward to an electrifying fixture at the iconic Allianz Arena, home of Bayern Munich. We take an analytical look at the two teams and what to expect when they face each other on June 14.

The Stakes for Both Teams

This is Scotland’s fourth appearance at the Euros, after featuring in 1992, 1996, and 2020. However, they have yet to advance past the group stage of any competition and will seek to do so this time around.

Their first test against Germany could make or mar their knockout hopes. Expect Scotland to mount some pressure early on in the game, and if all things go well, they stand a chance against Germany’s questionable defense, possibly ruining the party for the hosts. However, this will prove an uphill task for Steve Clarke and his men, who have secured only one win in their last nine games, a victory against 203rd-ranked Gibraltar.

On the flip side, Germany has shown promising signs of their heyday under new head coach Julian Nagelsmann. Since his appointment on September 23, Die Mannschaft have recorded noteworthy wins against France and the Netherlands, two teams they could potentially face if they advance to the knockout rounds.

There’s added motivation for Germany, who come into the tournament seeking redemption after a series of poor showings on the big stage since their semi-final loss to France at Euro 2016. They exited the group stage in consecutive World Cup tournaments and failed to make it past the quarter-finals of Euro 2020.

The goals for both teams are also in sharp contrast. Scotland hopes to make it to the knockout round for the first time in their history and will be content with just that. However, anything short of winning the championship on home turf will be considered a huge disappointment for Germany.

Potential Starting XI for Germany vs. Scotland

Germany announced its final 26-man squad for the Euros on June 7, and despite notable absentees, Nagelsmann still boasts a handful of stars. The former Bayern Munich manager confirmed that 38-year-old Manuel Neuer will retain his spot as the starting goalkeeper, despite Marc-André ter Stegen’s recent performances at the national level.

The World Cup and two-time Champions League winner will be supported by a host of defenders led by center-back Antonio Rüdiger and wingback Joshua Kimmich. Nagelsmann’s omission of Mats Hummels came as a shock to many, considering the veteran’s recent displays for Dortmund. Instead, the 36-year-old manager opted for Bayer Leverkusen’s solid CB Jonathan Tah, who had the best season of his career yet. Stuttgart’s left-wing back Matt Mittelstädt is expected to complete the back four for Germany.

In midfield, Nagelsmann will be pleased to field Toni Kroos, who returned to the squad after initially announcing his retirement from international duty. The six-time Champions League winner has been crucial to Germany’s midfield dominance over the years and will be coming into the tournament on the back of a fairytale ending to his club career. Robert Andrich will man the holding midfield position for Germany, while İlkay Gündoğan is expected to play higher up the pitch together with Jamal Musiala, one of the brightest youngsters in Europe, and Florian Wirtz, who was Bayer Leverkusen’s standout player during their unbeaten domestic run last season.

Upfront, it remains to be seen if Nagelsmann will prefer a more natural forward in Niclas Füllkrug or opt for Kai Havertz, who enjoyed a brilliant spell of form for Arsenal late into the season. If he seeks a more experienced forward, he can count on Thomas Müller.

Potential Starting XI for Scotland vs. Germany

Injuries continue to be a big issue for Steve Clarke, and he will have to get the job done without some of his best players available for selection. Angus Gunn will start as goalkeeper for the Tartan Army ahead of Zander Clark. The 28-year-old assumed the first-choice role during the Euro Qualifiers, usurping Craig Gordon, who has struggled in the last few years and failed to cut this year.

Celtic’s left-back Anthony Ralston replaces the injured Aaron Hickey, who has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since November 2. Liverpool’s Andy Robertson will undoubtedly start at right-back, while Scott McKenna and Jack Hendry fill up the center-back spots.

Scotland’s greatest strength lies in an experienced midfield led by Manchester United’s Scott McTominay, who has been in brilliant form for both club and country this season. Despite coming off the bench for most of last season, he finished as United’s joint-third top scorer. He was also remarkable for Scotland at the Qualifiers, scoring seven goals, including a brace against Spain.

John McGinn will join the 27-year-old after his contributions helped propel Aston Villa to the Champions League. Callum McGregor has returned from a knee injury and will be joined by the in-form Billy Gilmour, who is preferred to start at defensive midfield.

Steve Clarke will have to do without his first-choice center forward Lyndon Dykes, who will miss the Euros after sustaining an ankle injury in training. The Scottish FA also announced that Liverpool teenager Ben Doak has been excluded from the final squad due to a lingering knee injury that has kept him on the sideline since December. Hearts’ Lawrence Shankland will bear the offensive load for Scotland after a stellar campaign where he won the top scorer award in the Scottish League with 24 goals.

Abu Bakar
Abu Bakar
Abubakar is a writer and digital marketing expert. Who has founded multiple blogs and successful businesses in the fields of digital marketing, software development. A full-service digital media agency that partners with clients to boost their business outcomes.
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