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Germany v Norway: The lowdown

Published: Saturday 27 July 2013, 12.57CET
Few opponents are more familiar than Germany and Norway but their squads have changed even from last year. UEFA.com takes a position-by-position look at Sunday's finalists.
by Paul Saffer
from Solna
Germany v Norway: The lowdown
Norway's Ada Hegerberg vies with Saskia Bartusiak of Germany during the group stage ©AFP/Getty Images
 

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Published: Saturday 27 July 2013, 12.57CET

Germany v Norway: The lowdown

Few opponents are more familiar than Germany and Norway but their squads have changed even from last year. UEFA.com takes a position-by-position look at Sunday's finalists.

Goalkeepers: Having conceded just four goals between them (and in Germany's case, just the one in the defeat by Norway) both teams have top-class keepers, each of whom learned from a long period understudying bona fide legends. Forf Germany captain Nadine Angerer it was Silke Rottenberg, while Ingrid Hjelmseth served as back-up to Bente Nordby – indeed, both watched from the bench as their illustrious predecessors kept goal in the 2005 final in England. Angerer had a personality to match her ability and is well past 100 caps, while Hjelmseth showed her worth by saving Denmark's first two penalties in the semi-final shoot-out.

Defenders: There were worries for Germany when first-choice left-back Babett Peter plus Linda Bresonik and Verena Faisst were all ruled out of the tournament injured, but the combination of the experienced Annike Krahn and Saskia Bartusiak in the centre, plus young tyros Leonie Maier and Jennifer Cramer, has surpassed expectations – just ask Sweden. As for Norway, central defenders Trine Rønning and Marit Fiane Christensen have more than 200 caps between them, and full-backs Toril Akerhaugen and Maren Mjelde – Cramer's 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam club-mate – have a combined century.

Midfielders: Kim Kulig's injury may have ruled her out of the German midfield, but the two holding players in the middle, Nadine Kessler and Lena Goessling, have been as superb as they were in anchoring VfL Wolfsburg's UEFA Women's Champions League final defeat of Olympique Lyonnais in May. Ahead of them, Silvia Neid has plenty of options, with Simone Laudehr deployed wide and another young star Lena Lotzen breaking through along with Melanie Leupolz, leaving Melanie Behringer, for so long a starter, on the bench. Norway could not ask for more experience than captain Ingvild Stensland and playmaker Solveig Gulbrandsen, rewarded for cutting short her retirement. Ingvild Isaksen, who scored her first international goal against Germany, has been sweeping up behind those two.

Forwards: Germany's Célia Okoyino da Mbabi has managed a competition record tally of 19 goals, including qualifying, for Germany, but, in her injury absence in the semi-finals, Anja Mittag was pushed forward and did a sterling job, with Dzsenifer Marozsán in the hole behind. Norway's front three has varied through the tournament but has youth as a theme. The thrilling teenage talent of Caroline Graham Hansen and Ada Hegerberg plus the 20-year-old relative veteran Kristin Hegland were the front three against Denmark, although the physical presence of Elise Thorsnes may be preferred in the final.

Coaches: Silvia Neid has played a part in all of Germany's major triumphs: the 1989, 1991 and 1995 European victories as a player, as Tina Theune's assistant in 2001, 2005 and at the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup, and as head coach for the 2007 Women's World Cup and UEFA Women's EURO 2009. But Even Pellerud, reappointed by Norway late last year, has impressive pedigree too, overseeing their 1993 European and 1995 World Cup successes, capping the latter with a victory against Germany in Solna.

Last updated: 04/09/13 20.57CET

Related information

http://www.uefa.com/womenseuro/news/newsid=1976844.html#germany+norway+the+lowdown

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