Germany defender Mats Hummels (left) celebrates after scoring against Hungary
Having salvaged a 2-2 draw against Hungary in their final group game, Germany have gone through to the knockout rounds as runners-up in Group F.
That means one thing, and one thing only: they now face an epic reunion with old foes England in the last 16.
It’s been a topsy-turvy tournament for Die Mannschaft so far, with defeat to France, a chaotic win against Portugal and a turgid showing against Hungary leaving them in mixed form going into the knockouts.
Here’s everything you need to know about England’s next opponents.
Germany have been wildly inconsistent at Euro 2020 so far
Credit: GETTY IMAGES
Fifa ranking: 12
Coach: Joachim Löw. Leaving the role after 15 years at the end of this tournament having steered his nation to two finals, one World Cup and third place in 2014. Leaves mostly joyful memories, but the group stage exit at the last World Cup may cloud his legacy if England can get past his team next Tuesday.
Tried to push the team through a painful transition after the debacle in Russia three years ago, but after some poor results he decided to recall old stagers Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller. If Germany go well in the rest of the tournament that will look like a smart piece of course correction. If things go badly, it looks weak-willed and milky.
England record and history: P32 W13 D6 L13 F51 A42
Apart from the ‘Russian Linesman’; Geoff Hurst’s hat-trick; Jules Rimet; Peter Bonetti wilting in sweltering Mexico; Paul Gascoigne’s tears; Chris Waddle’s skied penalty; Gascoigne’s agonising miss on the stretch; Gareth Southgate’s saved penalty; Keevin Keegan’s resignation in a Wembley loo; 5-1 in Munich; Frank Lampard’s goal that never was and Gareth Barry being torched by Mesut Ozil in South Africa… there’s really not much history to speak of.
Euros and World Cup wins: 4 World Cups (1954, 1974, 1990, 2014) 3 Euros (1996, 1972, 1980)
Euros so far: Talk of tactical crises, a coach past his best and a stuttering start for a new generation of players seemed apparent in the opening defeat to France. A narrow reverse, but their toil in vain to equalise did not inspire confidence.
Those cobwebs were blown away emphatically on Saturday with a 4-2 win over Portugal, and the source of those goals also vindicated Löw’s decision to stick with the 3-4-3 system.
The 2-2 draw with Hungary wasn’t exactly a masterclass, but they did show excellent team spirit and togetherness to restore parity twice after going behind to goals from Adam Szalai and Andras Schafer.
Strengths: German fans have urged Löw to move away from 3-4-3, but it is well ingrained now and quite straightforward to execute. His side were relentless in victory against Portugal, with wing-backs Joshua Kimmich and Robin Gosens particularly impressive.
Kimmich can also play in central midfield so an in-game change of system is feasible without making a sub. Leon Goretzka’s return adds presence to the engine room while Toni Kroos and Ilkay Gundogan can pull the strings in midfield.
They have plenty of experience now Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels have been welcomed back into the fold, with Kai Havertz and Serge Gnabry looking bright up front. Loads of attacking depth too, with Leroy Sane and Timo Werner consigned to starting on the bench so far. Manuel Neuer is coming to the end of his career but is still the steadiest of operators.
Weaknesses: As well as their travails against France and Hungary, they made hard work of the Portugal game in the end. They looked jittery at 4-2 when a thrashing seemed likely early in the second half. Portugal’s opening goal showed their vulnerability to a swift counter-attack.
While other sides have had success with a more functional approach, Löw seems obsessed with controlling possession and playing with a high line which opponents with pace could exploit. They also favour man-to-man marking in midfield, leaving space if bypassed. They also lack efficiency in the final third – who is Germany’s reliable goalscorer?
Key man: Not their best player perhaps, but left wing-back Gosens is a vital outlet if the system is to come to life.
He has never played professionally in Germany, which is unusual in the national team, but is developing into something of a cult hero.
Familiar faces: Gundogan will play in a more restrained role than he does for City. Chelsea fans will have an eye on Werner and Havertz, with the latter scoring against Portugal. Arsenal fans will look on wistfully at Gnabry.
Possible line-up: 3-4-2-1 Neuer; Rudiger, Ginter, Hummels; Kimmich, Gundogan, Kroos, Gosens; Havertz, Muller; Gnabry