Six points from games against Portugal and the Netherlands ought to warrant a quarter-final place but the group of death is appropriately going to the death – Germany still have work to do.
Before UEFA EURO 2012, I felt that the sides dropping points against Denmark would not qualify for the knockout stages, but Germany need only a draw against Morten Olsen's men to finish top of the section. I just cannot see them being beaten by Denmark in Lviv on Sunday; it is never going to happen.
Germany have convinced to date in Poland and Ukraine – perhaps not for the full 180 minutes, but back-to-back victories against such strong opponents speak volumes. Denmark, by contrast, posted a slightly fortuitous win against the Netherlands and then conceded three against Portugal. Anything to fear? I don't think Germany will have a problem against this lot.
The last time I was this confident of a German win against Denmark was exactly two decades ago. I was 14 and Germany were reigning world champions. Two years before, Franz Beckenbauer had stepped down after Italia '90 saying he felt "sorry for the rest of the world". He explained: "Given that the former East German players will now be added to the reservoir, German football will be unbeatable."
I was 12 and impressionable. And Beckenbauer said it, so it must be true. EURO '92 seemed to confirm his thoughts. Despite a group stage defeat by the Netherlands, Germany pulled through and reached yet another final. They were huge favourites, a proven squad of world beaters up against a side that had 'been recalled from the beach' as the legend went.
Sure, Denmark had beaten the Netherlands (erm, like they have done again here) but that had to have been a fluke. It wasn't. They won 2-0. I couldn't accept it for several days and thought it must be a mistake – alas no. But that was then and this is now. Germany have triumphed against the Oranje, defeated Portugal and next up are Denmark. What could possibly go wrong?
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