Germany v Ukraine
World Champions Germany head into Euro 2016 in search of their fourth European Championship title, with their last coming in 1996. Their campaign kick-off against 2008 co-hosts Ukraine at the Stade Pierre-Marouv in Lille.
Earlier this week, German defender Antionio Rudiger was ruled out of the tournament with an ACL injury, joining the likes of Ilkay Gundogan and Marco Reus on the German injury table. His replacement, 20-year-old Jonathan Tah, confirmed Germany’s 23-man squad as the youngest in the tournament.
Germany qualified for the tournament as narrow winners of Group D, ahead of Poland and the Republic of Ireland. Die Mannschaft lost 3-1 to Slovakia in their penultimate warm-up match before beating Hungary 2-0 last week.
Despite striker Mario Gomez being included in the squad, Joachim Low is likely to opt for the familiar false-9, in the form of Mario Gotze or Andre Schurrle. Despite captaining the side, Bastian Schweinsteiger is unlikely to get the nod ahead of Sami Khedria and Toni Kroos in the centre of midfield. With Mats Hummels a doubt with a calf strain, Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi could partner Jerome Boateng at centre-back.
Ukraine come into the tournament on the back of two confidence-boosting wins, a 4-3 victory against Romania and a 3-1 win over Austria. Of course, Germany will provide a completely different test for the side who qualified for the tournament via a play-off.
Ukraine’s danger man is Andriy Yarmolenko. The Dynamo Kiev man netted 6 times in qualifying and is expect to play out wide, although he has previous experience operating as a centre-forward.
Operating on the other wing will be Sevilla’s Yevhen Konoplyanka, one of just four players in the squad who plays their club football outside of Ukraine. Veteran midfielder Anatoliy Tymoshchuk captains the side and he’ll know quite a bit about his opponents, having previously spent four years at Bayern Munich.
Germany predicted line-up
Ukraine predicted line-up
101 Great Goals predicts: Germany 2 – Ukraine 0