Tag Archives: Germany

Friendly International: England vs Germany

Match Preview – Kick-Off 5:30pm Wembley

England’s women are aiming to put their recent poor form behind them by securing a first win on home soil against the two-time World Champions, Germany.

Saturday’s friendly at Wembley Stadium could see a record attendance for a women’s match in the UK with the 90,000 stadium expecting to be a sell out.

The FA will also use this fixture as an opportunity to honour former England women footballers at England’s home of football, where they never got a chance to play on. These players are expected to include former England Captain and current Manchester United Manager, Casey Stoney.

Previous Meetings

The Germans have largely dominated the rivalry between these two sides.  There have been 25 meetings in total and the Lionesses have lost 20 of them.

In the past four years however there has certainly been cause for optimism as England defeated Germany for the first time in a World Cup Third place playoff match 1-0 in Canada.

Phil Neville’s team have also achieved two draws in the past four years against Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side including a 2-2 draw in the SheBelieves Cup back in March 2018.

Form of both teams

Post the World Cup England’s form has dipped.  Since their Third-place playoff defeat to Sweden Phil Neville’s side drew with Belgium 3-3, having at one point been 2-0 ahead mid way through the first half.  England subsequently lost back-to-back matches 2-1 to both Norway and Brazil.    They did however return to winning ways against Portugal last time out, on October 8th, thanks to a goal from Arsenal’s Beth Mead.

The German’s form by contrast has been formidable, since their World Cup Quarter-final loss to Sweden.   They have scored 31 goals already in their four European Qualifying games including a 10-0 win against Montenegro at the end of August.

Team News and Players to watch

England welcome back star forward Ellen White – who shared the golden boot with Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, scoring six goals.  They will however be without Chelsea’s playmaker Fran Kirby and centre back Millie Bright through injury.  Other key players such as Jill Scott, Toni Duggan and Georgia Stanway will also be unavailable due to various injury problems.

The Lionesses will have to keep an eye on Freiburg’s Klara Buhl. The young forward has scored 6 goals in four matches in Germany’s Euro campaign, including a hat trick against Ukraine back in October.

Lyon’s Dzsenifer Marozsan is also regarded as an important player for this German side.  Marozsan has scored 32 goals in 96 appearances for the national team and has consistently proved to be one of the best playmakers in the women’s game over the past few years.

Key Stats

  • The first match between the two sides was played in 1984
  • England achieved their first draw with Germany in January 2007 – a goalless draw played in China.
  • Germany won the last match at Wembley 3-0 against England back in November 2014 in front of a then record crowd of 45,619.
  • Germany has won eight European Championships – six of those titles were achieved between 1995-2013 before World Cup runners-up, The Netherlands broke that dominance by winning the title in 2017.

Prediction

England 1-3 Germany

Can see a similar result to that of 2014 – the Lionesses still have a few important players missing and Germany’s form particularly in the past few months has been exceptional.

 

 

Advertisements

Hazard Hands in Transfer Request!

Well, there has been speculation for weeks as to whether he will sign a new contract or take up a new challenge elsewhere and today the news has been confirmed, that

Hazard has handed in a transfer request! ~ Yes it is official

Only things are not quite as they may seem, because the Hazard in question is

Thorgan Hazard, Edens younger, but equally highly rated younger brother

Currently he plies his trade as a number of players his age do, in the German Bundesliga, with Borussia Munchengladbach, however they have confirmed today that instead of taking up the option to extend his contract with them, he is keen to pursue as Gladbach put it

“Other Challenges”

So this throws the debate wide open again, and poses some interesting questions

As Gladbachs”s sporting director admitted, he doesn’t know where Hazard will go, Gladbach themselves lie 5th in the Bundesliga, and there have been links with another Bundelsiga side in Borussia Dortmund, who it is known Hazard Favours a move to

Equally, it is also known that Liverpool are interested in Hazard, as they are managed by former Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp, who is a known admirer and, having managed previously in the league has and still retains a strong interest in suitable players,  it is reported, though unsubstantiated, that they had made a 40,000,000 euro offer to take Hazard to Liverpool this summer

Should Thorgan move to the Premier league, it would make a mouth watering prospect of him playing against Eden, when Liverpool take on Chelsea.

Either way its an interesting space to watch

Bayern demolish Dortmund to reclaim Bundesliga top spot! Talking points :

Bayern Munich thrashed title rivals Borussia Dortmund 5–0 in Saturday’s Der Klassiker to reclaim top spot from their arch rivals. Described by many as the ‘biggest game in Europe’, Bayern swept aside Dortmund who led the table by 2 points before the game, with a ruthless display of attacking and fearless football and now lead the table by a point with 6 games left to play.
The visitors, who once lead the league by 9 points and looked set to prevent Bayern winning their seventh consecutive title, have seen their form dip in recent weeks and the display on Saturday showed they need to overcome a huge hurdle now if they still are to prevent Bayern winning their 29th Bundesliga title.

A lot was expected from the match, and Dortmund indeed started brightly with Mahmoud Dahoud hitting the post early on. However, once Mats Hummel’s header gave Bayern the lead, there was no looking back for the Bavarians. They lead 4–0 at the break, with goals from Lewandowski, Javi Martinez and Serge Gnabry adding to Dortmund’s misery.
And it was Lewandowski who completed the rout at the closing stages of the match, thereby also making him the first foreign player to score 200 league goals in German football.

But lets have a look at where exactly Dortmund got it wrong and Bayern prevailed.

  1. Bayern dominated the all important Mid-field battle : Nico Kovac’s decision to start with  Javi Martinez and Thiago Alcantara was spot on as the duo provided perfect blend of defensive stability and attacking creativity in the middle of the park. Martinez playing as the defensive midfielder made some crucial interventions and did not allow the likes of Dahoud and Reus to play their free flowing football for Dortmund. He capped off a solid performance with a well finished goal as well which effectively sealed the game for Bayern. Thiago Alcantara was also at his mercurial best and the opposition has no answer to his exquisite passing range. Along with the assist to Bayern’s opener, he created seven chances, more than any player in the game.
  2. Dortmund’s poor defending:
    Dortmund’s back four were poor is possession multiple times and found it difficult to cope with Bayern’s pressing game. Their Center back pairing of Akanji and Zagadou were at fault for most of the goals, also with Diallo playing as make shift Left back, Bayern took full advantage of their poor chemistry and below average link-up in defense. Also surprisingly Lukasz Piszczek was equally poor as the right back, and was constantly troubled by the pace and agility of Coman throughout the game. Also he was at fault for the first Bayern goal, giving Hummels enough room to place his header past their GK.

This kind of defensive performance is not going to take Dortmund anywhere near the title, and the manager needs to get the balance right before the next game to keep their title charge on track.

3. Bayern’s super Pressing game :

As mentioned, Dortmund’s defense were under constant threat by Bayern’s immense press throughout the match and Nico Kovac’s tactics were spot on to lead Bayern back to the top of the table. The attackint quartet of Lewandowski, Muller, Coman and Gnabry won the ball back on multiple occasions in the final third. Their quick interplay and swift interchange in position gave Dortmund no time on the ball, causing them to concede possession in vital areas of the field. Bayern’s tactics didn’t allow Witsel or Delaney to link up with Sancho, Reus or Brunn Larsen, leaving the forwards very frustrated without any service for most parts of the game.

Nico Kovac’s Bayern side now have the edge to secure their seventh straight title, but any complacency might lead to Dortmund reclaiming the top spot again as there is very little margin for error during the business end of the season. However, one thing is for sure, the Bundesliga is all set for one of its best finishes in recent years and here on 24-7 football, we will keep you updated till the last chapter of the season is written and finished off.

A Bundesliga Experience

By Euan Burns//@burns_euan

Hertha Berlin and Borussia Dortmund played out a thrilling match in the Bundesliga’s Saturday evening fixture.

Dortmund won the game after Marco Reus’s 93rd minute strike, but they twice fell behind to a resilient Hertha team.

The scoring got under way thanks to former Chelsea man Salomon Kalou pouncing on a Roman Bürki mistake after just four minutes. It only took 10 minutes for Dortmund to hit back after Thomas Delaney’s strike took a wicked deflection and bounced agonisingly into the net.

This sparked a period of pressure for Dortmund, but it was Kalou who scored next from the penalty spot to put his team 2-1 up before half time.

Dortmund flew out the traps in the second half, with Zagadou heading in an equaliser after 47 minutes. Almost the entire half consisted of sustained Dortmund pressure, and it felt only a matter of time before they scored the winner.

A flurry of chances were missed by the yellows, but it was Hertha who thumped the post after a quick counter-attack. Hertha’s task became even harder after defender Jordan Torunarigha was sent off for two yellow cards on 85 minutes.

Dortmund finally got the winner their play had merited when Reus swept in a cross from the left into the bottom corner, breaking Hertha hearts. In a foul tempered final few minutes, substitute Vedad Ibisevic was sent off for Hertha for angrily throwing the ball at Bürki’s head.

Whilst the action on the pitch was thoroughly entertaining, it was the action in the stands that I was most looking forward to seeing. Both sets of fans did not disappoint.

The Olympiastadion was a cacophony of noise. The main difference between a game in England and this game in Germany is that the chants and noise levels weren’t heavily affected by what was happening on the pitch. It was constant singing and jumping, regardless of where on the pitch the all was.

The Hertha fans were being led by a man down at the front with a microphone who seemed to spend the entire game facing his fellow supporters starting chants for everyone to join in with. The abundance of flags never stopped waving, and even when the winning goal went in, there wasn’t the same feeling of stress and aggression that you feel in English stands.

In the very rare moments that the lead fan kept quiet, you could hear the Dortmund fans at the other end of the pitch. This is deeply impressive considering the size of the running track surrounding the pitch and the very open stadium which allows noise to escape.

It’s common for the hardcore support for each team to be at opposite ends of the ground, and then the middle becomes quite mixed. This seems almost unimaginable in England as we create such a hostile atmosphere. When Dortmund scored, to me the two sides of the ground seemed to cheer louder than when Hertha scored.

Something that every fan would like to see at the moment is Jadon Sancho playing live. He didn’t perform to expectation in the first half, with Dortmund struggling to put together any real flowing moves. However, he was blistering in the second half. His movement was reminiscent of Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United, as he switched wings regularly, and also popped up down the middle on occasion. He was very unlucky not to score, and eventually got his rewards by setting up Marco Reus’s winner with a lovely outside of the boot cross.

A novelty I was very much looking forward to was being able to have a beer in the stand. There’s something much more friendly about the whole experience when you don’t feel like you’re constantly suspected of hooliganism. Something I didn’t realise was that people are also allowed to smoke in the stands. Either that or the stewards aren’t very vigilant.

It was quite incredible to watch a game of football in the historic Olympiastadion, looking across at a spot Adolf Hitler has made speeches from in the not-so-distant past. There is something quite eerie about the watching football in the stadium where black athlete Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics, much to Hitler’s annoyance. The stadium is quite something to look at and is easily accessible on the U-Bahn from the city centre.

There was an interesting moment of solidarity between both sets of fans, when Dortmund unveiled a banner saying “4 leagues, 4 champions, 4 newcomers. Regional league reform now”. This is a reference to the recent dispute’s fans have been having with the German Football Association. There was then a mutual chant by both sets of fans. I could only work out the words “scheisse” and “DFA”, but I could get the idea.

I can highly recommend going to see Hertha Berlin play live, especially given Hertha plan to move stadium by 2025.

Tammy Abraham: Another Brit in Germany?

Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham is reportedly being lined up by German team RB Leipzig for a £20m move.

The 21-year-old has been on loan at Championship outfit Aston Villa this season, where he’s notched up a very impressive 21 goals in 29 games.

This news hardly comes as a surprise for multiple reasons. It is another example of a Chelsea loanee performing very well elsewhere, but seemingly having no chance of breaking into the first team. Abraham has also had a successful loan spell at Bristol City in recent years, scoring 23 times in 41 games. As well as this, he has made 41 appearances for England youth teams, scoring 15 times.

The other reason this transfer news it not particularly surprising is the upturn in English youngsters heading to Germany for competitive first team football at a high standard.

It is quite a compliment to Abraham that RBL are looking to sign him, as their highly sought after striker Timo Werner looks increasingly as if he will be on his way out in the summer.

Of course, the most notable is Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, who decided at the age of 17 that he was ready for first team football. He knew he wouldn’t find it at Manchester City, so he took the incredibly brave decision to leave his family and friends behind and move to Germany.

Sancho signed for Dortmund on 31st August 2017 for a reported fee of £8m. He was instantly placed in the first team squad. He made his debut from the bench less than two months later against Eintracht Frankfurt, becoming the first Englishman to play in theBundesliga for Dortmund.

It took until January for Sancho to be given his first league start, at the end of the 2017/2018 season, he signed a deal keeping at the club until 2022. This investment has paid dividends for Dortmund, as Sancho has now rocked up nine goals and 11 assists. He was also named Bundesliga player of the month for October and has become a key player for the team top of the Bundesliga.

Jadon Sancho is now being seriously linked with a £100m move to Manchester United, with other top teams also sniffing around. If this transfer were to materialise, it would be a stroke of financial genius from Borussia Dortmund.

Another slightly less publicised example of a young English player in the Bundesliga is Arsenal’s Reiss Nelson. The 19-year-old is currently on loan at Hoffenheim, and although not as successful as Sancho, is playing more football than he would have done in England. He’s made 15 appearances for Die Kraichgauer, scoring six times. Nelson scored fourteen minutes after coming off the bench for his debut against Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Everton’s Ademola Lookman had a short stint at Tammy Abraham’s potential new club Red Bull Leipzig. He joined on loan in the January of the 2017/18 season, scoring five times in 11 appearances.

Many of these English youngsters are friends, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that they all feel there is more competitive football to be played in Germany, at clubs where they can be a key player. Chelsea’s Callum Hudson Odoi very nearly moved to Bayern Munich in January, because it is obvious to everyone except Maurizio Sari that he is ready to be a first team player for a quality team.

It’s not just Germany that is becoming popular with English youngsters. Last night, Watford’s Ben Wilmot made his debut for Serie A side Udinese in a 4-1 defeat to reigning champions Juventus.

It could be a very positive trend for the England National team, with youngsters gaining first team experience and maturity earlier in their careers.

Euan Burns//@burns_euan