Germany arrive at UEFA EURO 2020 as a shadow of their former selves in Joachim Löw’s final tournament after a 15-year spell in charge of Die Mannschaft.
Three years on from their embarrassing group-stage exit at the 2018 World Cup, Löw has recalled banished veterans Mats Hummels (€5.0m) and Thomas Müller (€9.0m) in the hope of turning around their hopes this summer.
Although Germany are still 7/1 favourites with the bookies to win the tournament, their place in the Group of Death alongside Portugal and France means they’ll need to be a very different side to the one who recently lost 6-0 to Spain and 2-1 to North Macedonia if they are to find safe passage into the knockouts.
In partnership with UEFA, we continue our series of EURO 2020 articles by examining Germany in detail to see if any of their other players can compete for a place in your Fantasy squads.
Road to Qualification
GERMANY’S EURO 2020 QUALIFICATION RECORD
|Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Goals for||Goals against||Clean sheets|
Germany won qualifying group C without too many problems. They won seven of their eight games, but a 4-2 loss to the Netherlands hinted at the defensive problems that were to plague them further after booking their place at EURO 2020. They did beat the Netherlands 3-2 in the reverse fixture, as well as seeing off Northern Ireland, Belarus and Estonia.
Die Mannschaft kept five clean sheets in qualifying, continuing their recent record of not conceding against the minnows but defending poorly against bigger teams. Six of the seven goals they conceded were against the Netherlands, the seventh coming in the 6-1 win over Northern Ireland. Considering the calibre of their Group F opponents this summer, that does not bode particularly well.
However, where Germany really impressed in qualifying was going forward. Their 30 goals in eight outings worked out at nearly four goals a game, one of the best goalscoring records in the competition.
GERMANY’S MATCHES IN 2020 AND 2021
|Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Goals for||Goals against||Clean sheets|
Since qualifying, Germany’s record has been markedly less impressive though. Uninspiring 1-1 and 3-3 draws with Switzerland in the Nations League were followed by the infamous 6-0 loss to Spain.
Beating Ukraine home and away meant that they still finished second in their group, but these were still fairly out-of-sorts 2-1 and 3-1 wins against a Yellow and Blue side in dire form at the time.
The nadir of Germany’s recent defensive woes was the 2-1 loss to Macedonia. Sloppy from set pieces and defensively clueless against the counter, Löw’s men could well have conceded another after Emre Can got away with a blatant handball in the box.
Their recent 1-1 draw with Denmark still didn’t fill anyone with confidence, as Yussuf Poulsen (€8.0m) ran Niklas Süle (€5.5m) ragged for their goal on the break. They reverted to type by putting seven past Latvia in their last game, but there’s still nothing to suggest that this Germany side are really anything other than flat-track bullies, a trait that may not take them very far in the Group of Death.
- Most starts: Joshua Kimmich (8), Serge Gnabry, Manuel Neuer (both 7)
- Most goals: Serge Gnabry (8), Leon Goretzka (4), Ilkay Gündogan, Toni Kroos, Marco Reus, Leroy Sané (all 3)
- Most assists: Julian Brandt, Julian Draxler, Matthias Ginter, Leon Goretzka, Ilkay Gündogan, Kai Havertz, Jonas Hector, Joshua Kimmich, Toni Kroos, Marco Reus (all 2)
- Goals scored: 30
- Goals conceded: 7
- Clean sheets: 5
Löw has started using a 3-4-3 in the recent friendlies in order to get all of Germany’s best players on the pitch at the same time. This is great news for some, and not so much for others.
Bayern Munich’s Serge Gnabry (€9.5m) has been the talisman of this Germany team since the 2018 World Cup. The former Arsenal man got eight goals in seven games in qualifying and his 16 goals in 21 starts is actually the best goalscoring rate of any active international footballer. Gnabry will have to be at his best to get anything from France and Portugal’s quality defences and, for his price, he’s definitely the safest and best option from this German attack.
Müller has been recalled to the side and should start up front for Löw’s men. The 2010 World Cup top scorer comes into this side off the back of an incredible season for Bayern Munich, grabbing 11 goals and 21 assists in 32 league games as an integral part of their title-winning side. He will be tasked with connecting and organising this attack and using his established relationships with players like Gnabry and Joshua Kimmich (€6.0m) to get the most out of this side.
Germany’s best option at the back comes in the form of Atalanta wing-back Robin Gosens (€5.0m). He scored 11 goals in 32 games for Atlanta this season and managed a goal and two assists in the recent win over Latvia. For his price, Gosens is an incredible option within this 3-4-3 Germany side, due to his goalscoring prowess and the attacking freedom he will be given.
The final key target is Kai Havertz (€9.0m). Fresh from scoring the winning goal in the UEFA Champions League final, Havertz will start at the right wing for Die Mannschaft and will look to take his end of season form onto international duty. Gnabry, Müller and Havertz will all have to be at their best for this Germany side to overcome France and Portugal, but they have huge potential given both the attacking and creative quality Joachim Löw’s side possess and neither one is owned by 3% of EURO Fantasy managers.
Frustratingly, but unsurprisingly, Kimmich is classed as a midfielder in the UEFA Euro fantasy game. Löw Moved the Bayern Munich star to right wing-back for the win over Latvia, which looks like where he will play throughout the tournament to accommodate Germany’s quality in central midfield.
It is hard to know how this will affect his output, however, if his Germany side starts to tick, much like Gosens, Kimmich could use his incredible passing range and vision as well as his knack for scoring big goals to still be a great Fantasy asset, even without the chance of four points for a clean sheet.
In central midfield, Ilkay Gündoğan (€7.5m) and Leon Goretzka (€6.5m) look set to start in a double pivot role. This is potentially damaging to Goretzka’s Fantasy output, as the Bayern Munich midfielder had previously been playing as a number 10. Goretzka had been the second highest scoring player for Germany in qualifying, with four goals. However, playing further back and having more defensive responsibility likely limits Goretzka’s appeal as a fantasy option.
Gündoğan is a more interesting prospect for fantasy. Likely the primary penalty taker for Germany, the Manchester City midfielder has had the greatest goalscoring season of his club career in 2020/21 and his three goals and two assists in qualifying highlight his potential. Although €7.5m seems expensive, this is a Germany side which scores goals and tricky wingers like Gnabry and Sané are prime candidates for winning penalties that Gundogan can convert.
In FanTeam, Germany is offensive trio find themselves very reasonably priced. Gnabry is a €9.0m midfielder, Müller an €8.5m forward and Havertz an €8.0m midfielder. Their slightly lower prices make them much more appealing options in the FanTeam game than the official UEFA EURO fantasy game.
However, Goretzka, Gundogan and Kimmich are slightly more expensive in FanTeam, which lessens their appeal. €8.0m for Kimmich and Gundogan and 7.5m for Goretzka is a sharp increase from the UEFA game and makes them far less attractive options when you consider the players available at these price points.
Gosens is slightly more expensive at €5.5m, but does have the added bonus of shots on target. This will benefit such an attacking defender and may well make him an even more attractive option in FanTeam.