Germany desperate for more cutting edge against Portugal

Afp, Munich

19 June, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Germany coach Joachim Loew is under pressure to find a way for his side to create more chances when they host holders Portugal at Euro 2020 on Saturday, with their hopes of reaching the knock-out stage hanging in the balance.

A tense 1-0 defeat by France in their opening Group F game leaves the Germans needing a result at the Allianz Arena against Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal.

Loew's efforts to strengthen Germany's defence meant only a Mats Hummels own goal was the difference against world champions France.

However, the hosts managed just one shot on target on Tuesday.

"If we can be more vigorous up front, we will be able to beat Portugal," said Loew.

Germany have won their last four meetings with Portugal over the last two decades, most recently with a 4-0 victory in the 2014 World Cup group stage as the Germans went on to win the title in Brazil.

However, much has changed in the last seven years. Germany have steadily fallen from being the world's number one side to 12th in the FIFA rankings.

Portugal have risen to fifth and are appear have a much stronger squad than when they were crowned European champions in 2016.

Portugal sit top of the early Group F table after Ronaldo scored twice in their 3-0 win over Hungary.

But he has never scored against Die Mannschaft. However, the fear in Germany is that a loss to Portugal could see Euro 2020 become a repeat of the national humiliation suffered at the 2018 World Cup.

But the players remain confident they can turn things around.

"We have an awesome team, we have the quality and can go more, we still believe in us," said midfielder Emre Can.