Preview | Germany vs Hungary: Can Germany book their place in the round of 16?

Germany can book their place in the round of 16 at Euro 2024 with a win against Hungary on Wednesday night. Julian Nagelsmann’s side got off to the perfect start last Friday with a 5-1 thumping over Scotland. 

However, Hungary will possess a different test for Germany. The two sides met during the last Euros which ended in a thrilling 2-2 draw. 

Germany 

There are no fresh injury concerns for Germany who will be looking to get the job done on Wednesday with a game against Switzerland to spare. Julian Nagelsmann’s side looked confident during their opening game and used the home crowd to their advantage. 

The only question that perhaps has not gone away when looking at the German camp is the goalkeeping conundrum. 

As reported by GGFN’s Will Shopland during the week, Manuel Neuer’s place has been under scrutiny in recent weeks. At fault for one of the goal’s in Germany’s last warm-up game ahead of Euro 2024, many believe Neuer’s age is finally creeping up on him. 

Speaking ahead of Germany’s clash with Hungary on Wednesday, Neuer commented on the situation:

“I looked at it from the outside; I didn’t read anything. I went into the analysis with those responsible. We assessed the images as they were. The trust between the coaching team and me is very high.”

Another external factor ahead of Germany’s second match is the man officiating the game. 

UEFA appointed the Dutch referee, Danny Makkelie, on Monday, who will now be officiating his third match involving the German national team. Makkelie was previously in charge of Germany’s 2-0 defeat to England at Euro 2020, as well as their 2-2 draw against Spain at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Nevertheless, despite Makkelie’s experience—having been a registered FIFA referee since 2011—controversy and accusations of arrogance have consistently followed him around. When Borussia Dortmund faced Chelsea in the Champions League round of 16 in 2023, those connected with Die Schwarzgelben were not best pleased with the Dutchman’s performance.

Dortmund’s advisor, Matthias Sammer, described Makkelie as a “very, very arrogant person.” At the same time, CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke felt that the 41-year-old “wanted to be the most important man on the pitch.”

Internally Germany have to block-out the outside noise regarding this fixture and put in a professional performance. They’ll be favourites for this match and will expect to qualify with a game to spare. Expect an unchanged side from last Friday as Germany look to make it two wins from two. 

Hungary

It was a poor start for Hungary who are experiencing their first golden age of footballers for many decades. They finished the better side on matchday one but left it too late to comeback from 2-0 against Switzerland and ended up losing 2-1. 

Hungary were without Loic Nego or Callum Styles during the first game and it’s unlikely that both will be available to start on Wednesday. Head coach Rossi doesn’t exactly have many options from the bench in an attacking sense so a similar line-up to their loss against Switzerland is expected. 

Hungary are capable of an upset and will need something special to beat Germany on Wednesday and keep their Euro 2024 hopes alive. 

GGFN | Jamie Allen 

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