Portugal head into their Group F clash with Germany knowing that a victory would seal their place in the round of 16 after their win over Hungary. Joachim Low’s side, on the other hand, have plenty of work to do after a narrow defeat at the hands of the tournament favourites France.
The current holders are on a seven-game unbeaten run but they’ve lost in each of their last four fixtures versus Die Mannschaft. While this German side isn’t anywhere near as formidable as they once were, they still possess the quality within their ranks to hurt Fernando Santos’ men and cannot be taken lightly.
A defeat here would see Germany be unable to finish in the top two positions of the group, in which case they’d have to beat Hungary in their final fixture and hope they can sneak through as one of the best third place sides.
Here’s 90min‘s preview of the upcoming fixture.
When is kick-off? Saturday 19 June, 17:00
Where is the match being played? Allianz Arena, Munich
What TV Channel is it on? ITV (UK)
Who is the referee? Anthony Taylor
Who’s on VAR duty? Stuart Attwell
Portugal team news
There are some concerns over the fitness of Matthias Ginter who picked up a knock during the defeat to France, however, according to the latest reports, he will be available to start.
Low isn’t expected to make wholesale changes despite his team being below par in their opener. If he is to slightly shuffle his pack, it’s likely to be in the attacking areas.
Portugal: Patricio; Semedo, Pepe, Dias, Guerreiro; Danilo, Carvalho, Bernardo, Fernandes, Jota; Ronaldo.
Germany: Neuer; Ginter, Hummels, Rudiger; Kimmich, Gundogan, Kroos, Gosens; Havertz, Muller, Gnabry.
The two nations have met 18 times with the Germans emerging victorious on 10 of those occasions. There have been five draws between the sides and Portugal have defeated Saturday’s opponents just three times.
The last competitive meeting was at the 2014 World Cup, and it finished Germany 4-0 Portugal.
Portugal vs Germany Prediction
Portugal were frustrated for long periods in their opening game versus Hungary and it took them until the 84th minute to find the breakthrough. In the end, their relentless pressure saw the hosts crumble and they ran out comfortable 3-0 winners thanks to Raphael Guerreiro’s goal and a brace from Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, in the Germans they face an opponent with far more in their locker. They may have underwhelmed versus the French, but there is plenty of talent in Low’s squad. Portugal can afford to be a little more cautious in their approach given they already have three points on the board, but if they sit deep and invite pressure on themselves, they would be asking for trouble.
It’s likely to be a cagey affair from the outset but as the game goes on, Germany will need to commit bodies forward in search of a winner and that could leave spaces for the likes of Ronaldo to expose in behind. A closely fought draw seems the most likely outcome.
Prediction: Portugal 1-1 Germany