On Wednesday evening, Germany will face Hungary in their final group stage game in Munich. All Germany need is a point in order to advance to the round of 16. Head coach Joachim Löw and Mats Hummels spoke ahead of the game about the personnel situation and Hungary’s strengths. DFB.de has put together the most important points from today’s press conference.
...the win against Portugal: Against Portugal, we conceded after our corner but reacted well. It’s about finding the right balance. Our aim was to bring more momentum and power into our attack. We managed to do that and we didn’t allow Portugal many chances from open play. We also made some mistakes. But, we dominated the game which is a good foundation to build on.
...his team’s approach: The team is fully focused. We know we've only taken a small step and that it's now in our own hands. I'm expecting us to show the same attitude tomorrow.
...the match against Hungary: We’re well acquainted with this opponent. We haven’t just seen them in both their games at the EUROs, but during their matches ahead of the tournament as well. They are extremely strong in defence and cover a lot of ground. You could see how France struggled against them and even Portugal needed 80 minutes before they scored on them. We need to prepare ourselves for the fact that we won’t have many opportunities in front of goal. You have to tire them out over 50, 60, 70 minutes. We will need to use our chances.
... Thomas Müller: Whether Thomas Müller will be able to play tomorrow remains to be seen. We will make a decision on him tomorrow and will also decide then who will not be part of the matchday squad.
...Leroy Sané: Leroy was of course disappointed not to start. His energy and performances in training have been very, very good and you can see that he’s a world-class player. He has the right mindset and I’m confident that, if he gets a chance, that he will take it.
...Jamal Musiala: He will definitely be on the bench tomorrow. Because we have a very strong squad overall, and Jamal is still lacking in major tournament experience, we decided to leave him out of the first two games. However, in training there are several things he does that are quite good for his age. He’s becoming more confident and is getting used to the pace and his teammates. He deserves to be on the bench tomorrow.
...Robin Gosens: I think he’s a really positive guy who made himself very approachable to the others in our group. He’s a communicator. He’s very professional and brings a lot of energy. He’s fit in extremely well with us, both on and off the pitch. In his current form, he’s a very valuable player for us.
...Leon Goretzka: I think he’s ready to start. There are always some doubts about a player who hasn’t played for five to six weeks. He’s looked good in training, but it’s difficult to say whether he’ll be able to feature for 90 minutes.
...set pieces: We haven’t practiced any set pieces since our last game, but we spoke about them. We struggled to defend set pieces, and there were a couple of dangerous moments. It’s not always about how often you have worked on it, but also about being alert and focused. How can I outwork our opponents? You have to actively win the ball. That caused us some problems, and we’re also able to do better on our own set pieces. I will address the topic again, and it could have an impact on the course of the game, depending on whether it works or not.
...his knee: I’ve been dealing with my knee for a while now. Fortunately, I have the best possible care available here and the doctors and physios are working hard on it. During the game, the pain gets worse sometimes, but it shouldn’t have an impact on my performances. I might sit out a few training sessions now and then, but that’s just to manage the workload.
… the last group stage game: We want to bring the same approach to the pitch like we had against Portugal. We want to give the 14,000 fans in attendance something to celebrate and want to show right from the start that we want to reach the next round. Hungary have proven in both their games so far that they are able to defend well in a 5-3-2. They also aren’t bad in attack. The keys to our game will be to control the ball, make Hungary chase the ball and to pose a threat in front of goal as often as possible. We won’t be getting chances every minute, but the best possible scenario for us would be score early.
...the opponent: We’ve been warned. No one is going in thinking we’ve won already. We definitely won’t be underestimating Hungary. During the 2018 World Cup, the mood ahead of the games was very different. My overall impression of the team now makes me feel much more positive than I did in 2018.
...set pieces: We can definitely improve our set pieces. I had just one header early on against France but there wasn’t much outside of that. Those of us that are meant to go up for headers need to improve, as do those of us who play in the crosses. We have a plan for tomorrow of how we want to do it.
...Thomas Müller: If Thomas isn’t there, then we will be missing a strong leader on the pitch. A player like that is rare, which is why our game will definitely change without him. But, we have good players that can replace him who will bring other qualities to the pitch, even if he’s not there.
...the overall mood: The mood within the team is very good. Several of us get along well off the pitch as well. But, the fact that you can shout at each other on the pitch and correct each other is also part of that.
...gestures: As long as topics such as discrimination are being discussed publicly, that’s a good sign. UEFA will have their reasons as to why they have declined the offer to display the rainbow flag. Personally, I would have found it a nice gesture, because I’m a fan of publicly supporting messages like that. But, small gestures are also a step in the right direction, such as my t-shirt that I’m wearing.