Portugal-Germany is the second chapter of the Euro2020 notorious ‘death group’ matches that have already pitted the Mannschaft against Les Bleus in what was a disappointing game for Joachim Löw & Associates. It was all apparently easy for Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates, but the 0-3 at Hungary lies.
Portugal vs. Germany
Saturday, June 19, 2021 – 12:00 PM EDT at Allianz Arena
Hungary´s brave resistance lasted for 84 minutes in a packed Puskas Arena for Portugal´s debut. Guerrero´s opener unlocked the game in its dying minutes and CR7 put the ribbons with a brace letting him reach Lukaku on the tip of the top scorers table, now crowded with other 6 names. The impression is that, as in 2016, Portugal hang on to their hero to go as much forward as possible and honor the titleholder's role.
However, as seen in Juventus, Cristiano Ronaldo cannot shine of his own light as only Messi can: he must have someone creating the sparkle and starting the magic. Benfica´s man, Rafa Silva, was the name that allowed Portugal to finally bag the most obvious 3 points of the group stage ahead of the showdowns with Germany and France. Despite being 28-year-old, Rafa Silva revealed himself to the big audience and became the talk of the town.
Portugal could also re-discover a Euro-2016 fallen star, Renato Sanches, whose brightness faded in the past 5 years following the glorious tournament in France. Germany conceded only due to an unlucky own goal by Hummels, however, they never appeared as able of bringing any concern around Lloris´ box. For Löw, it is almost a miracle it ended just 1-0 in front of their home fans, the debacle could have been much bigger!
4-2-3-1 for Portugal as opposed to Germany´s 3-4-2-1. However, much of it lies in the interpretation. Portugal´s pressure against Hungary, it is not to be seen again in the challenge against Germany. Portugal have less pressure to take the lead and they will be keen to wait for the Germans behind the ball´s line. German ball circulation must dramatically improve: if too slow, it won´t unlock the Lusitanians´ fortress in front of Rui Patricio.
Rafa Silva earned his start, Fernando Santos is aware of that. But truth has it that, for Portugal, it is always about choosing the best 10 available men around Cristiano Ronaldo. Löw might give a nod to Timo Werner to start upfront. Considering Müller is an essential part of the XI, his companion behind the striker shall be one among Havertz, Gnabry, and Sané.
It is not common to see the Germans struggling at a major tournament. The generational change and the unfavorable draw in Nyon have given them more challenges than they were probably ready to take on. Now they have their backs against the wall: they need to win if they want to hope in the qualification and make the last game against Hungary worth something. The draw would be still a good deal for the Portuguese instead, a team mentally ready to speculate on the opponents' misfortunes.
We see Germany struggling to score one to Portugal. The more time will pass, the more the hurry will increase. Germans are patient people, but a goalless draw at halftime would worry even the most patient of them. For you, instead, it is a great odd to invest on, either as exact score (0-0) or half-time output (X). Alternatively, staking on Under 2,5 seems a very safe option to start the weekend with.