Serge Gnabry (left) and Thomas Müller will probably be in the starting XI against France
Uwe Kraft / imago images / Uwe Kraft
If the publicly displayed mood of two teams were to decide between victory and defeat, the outcome of the European championship opener of the German national team in the evening against world champions France (9 p.m.) would already be certain.
The French have had arguments and discussions in the past few days, fueled by substitute striker Olivier Giroud, expressed in the direction of superstar Kylian Mbappé, it was about selfishness and the ability to work in a team.
From the DFB team you can hear no background noise these days.
Everyone, whether player, coach or director Oliver Bierhoff, has been emphasizing for days how good the atmosphere in the national team's camp is.
Just no repetition of this Rumble World Cup 2018, when there were enough topics within the team (the Erdoğan photo of Mesut Özil and İlkay Gündoğan, the competition in goal, the training camp in Watutinki) that had a negative impact on performance.
Werner wants to take on his role as a substitute striker
When Timo Werner spoke about his situation in the national team last Saturday, he unconsciously took on the role of Anti-Giroud. “At the moment, I'm in the back of my hand,” Werner said at a press conference: “I'm not a player who sits in the stands with crossed arms and pouts.” He hopes to come on his bets. “I don't care whether I try to score goals from the bench or from the start. But this is a team tournament. "
Giroud is Werner's team-mate at Chelsea. There they compete for a place in the attack of the Champions League winner, in the past season Werner mostly prevailed. Competitive fights are a part of football: Mbappé, Antoine Griezmann and returnees Karim Benzema are currently ahead in the team of the Equipe Tricolore, alongside Giroud Kingsley Coman, Ousmane Dembélé, Wissam Ben Yedder and Mönchengladbach Marcus Thuram have to come to terms with the reserve role. National coach Didier Deschamps will also be in demand as a moderator.
There are six attackers for three positions in the DFB team, with Kevin Volland (AS Monaco) having little chance of making an appearance.
It looks different with Serge Gnabry, Kai Havertz, Thomas Müller, Leroy Sané and Werner.
They all have ambitions for a regular place, bring different qualities to this and can be sure that they will draw attention to themselves as a substitute at the latest during the tournament.
The offensive in a quick check:
: The man from Munich returned to the national team after a two-and-a-half year break because national coach Joachim Löw had to admit that he could not do without his experience and his goal threat. Müller is currently the only one from the quintet who can really call himself a regular. During the training camp, it was noticeable how much the 31-year-old would like to fulfill the role of manager and mood cannon - there is little that he can leave uncommented. And sporty? Does Müller do Müller things and is difficult for the opponents to grasp.
: Löw doesn't have a classic center forward in the squad, like France has twice with Benzema and Giroud. Rather, the national coach relies on variability, with Gnabry being a decisive factor. The Bayern striker often starts in the center, but also evades to the sides or lets himself fall. Gnabry is fast, can hold his own in direct duels and has an excellent finish. At Bayern he played a mixed season (eleven goals and seven assists in 38 competitive games), the better his quota in the national team: 16 goals in 21 international matches. Gnabry will play against France.
: During the training camp in Seefeld, SPIEGEL wrote that the public was even more critical of Sané than of others. His body language always has a special meaning. The third Bayern attacker in the DFB squad is aware of this, but does not want to change much. Why also? Against France, in a game with significantly less possession of the ball than against Latvia, Sané would be the ideal complement to Müller and Gnabry with his speed and runs behind the defensive chain. But there is much to suggest that he will take a seat on the bench first. Sané will also accept this without complaint - as a regular player with the unreserved trust of the coach, however, he was the strongest in his career so far.
: As the decisive goalscorer in the Champions League final for Chelsea, Havertz is predestined to be in the starting line-up at the start of the European Championship. Löw likes to ride the wave of success of individual players. At the Blues under coach Thomas Tuchel, Havertz has learned over the past few months to secure balls and then distribute them. Against France, when the opponents have dominant phases and relief will be important, that too can be a decisive factor. If Löw strives for longer periods of possession, Havertz has to play. If he mainly counts on the counterattack, Sané should be in the starting line-up.
: Judging by his personal successes, the former Leipzig player had significantly better seasons.
Werner has scored twelve goals for Chelsea in 52 competitive games, but his 15 assists take a back seat.
Before the Champions League final, Werner had to fight his reputation as a destroyer of opportunities, after the 1-0 win against Manchester City, he was almost enthusiastically praised for his run before the winning goal from Havertz.
It can go that fast in football.
Germany has never lost an opening game in the long history of the European Championship.
That could change now, which is mainly due to the strength of France.
But the DFB team will have scoring opportunities and then it has to be seen whether the national coach is betting on the right trio.
Game schedule? Stages? Results?
Here you will find
need to know about the tournament