Preview: Germany v Slovakia
Saturday, 25 June 2016
Germany have not shipped a goal for almost 400 minutes but the last time they did concede was in a May friendly loss to Slovakia. "We're aware they have great quality," said Joachim Löw.
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- Slovakia beat Germany 3-1 in pre-tournament friendly in Augsburg on 29 May
- Germany coach Joachim Löw: "We can't waste chances"
- Slovakia coach Ján Kozák: "Every opponent has weaknesses"
- Löw's team have not conceded in four games since Augsburg defeat
- Jérôme Boateng (calf) not trained much of the week but Löw says he's fit
Germany: Neuer; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Hector; Kroos, Khedira; Müller, Özil, Götze; Gomez.
Will miss quarter-finals with booking: Boateng, Khedira, Özil
Slovakia: Kozáčik; Pekarík, Škrtel, Ďurica, Hubočan; Pečovský; Mak, Kucka, Hamšík, Weiss; Duda.
Doubtful: Mak (hamstring), Švento (muscular)
Will miss quarter-finals with booking: Durica, Hrošovský, Kucka, Mak, Pecovský, Škrtel, Weiss
Joachim Löw, Germany coach
Slovakia are a different opponent to Northern Ireland. I think they're a lot stronger. We were beaten by them at the end of May so we're aware they have great quality and are good defensively. We won't have as much space as we did against Northern Ireland and that's why I'm considering one or two changes. I think we'll cope better than England did in the group stage.
In terms of taking chances I wasn't satisfied against Northern Ireland and nor were the players. We're all aware that we can't waste these opportunities against upcoming opponents as we simply won't have as many anymore.
[Boateng] took part in training and had no complaints so we don't expect there to be any problems. [Bastian Schweinsteiger] has been injured for quite a long time and has not started since January so it was obvious he wouldn't be ready for 90 minutes from the start here. But he's fitter now and finding his rhythm so he'll play a decisive role for us in this tournament.
Ján Kozák, Slovakia coach
Germany is a great challenge for us. However, I don't think the pressure Germany put us under will be as intense as England did in our last game. If we want to be successful again, we need to play as a team. Yes, they are a strong side, but every opponent has weaknesses. We will try to exploit those.
They are world champions and a top-quality team. But we have prepared thoroughly and have already been involved in difficult matches during qualifying. We won against Spain, a victory which helped us get here.
After we lost against Wales we had to survive some tough moments here in France – the matches against Russia and England were psychologically and physically tough. But we don't qualify often, so we intend to do our utmost while we are here.
UEFA.com team reporters
Steffen Potter, Germany (@UEFAcomSteffenP)
There is a certain amount of satisfaction within the camp after finishing the group stage in first place without conceding. The feeling is that things are starting to click for the world champions just in time for the knockout stage. Given Germany's dominance against Northern Ireland and the fact that Slovakia are expected to line up just as deep, the same starting XI is anticipated from Löw.
- All the round of 16 referees and their assistants
- A potted history of EURO penalty shoot-outs
- What's the schedule for the team who wins?
Rastislav Hribik, Slovakia (@UEFAcomRastoH)
Slovakia only hoped, rather than expected, to be in the last 16 according to captain Martin Škrtel. Just to be here was enough; getting out of the group stage was a big step. To beat Germany (again) would be a miracle. Sometimes miracles happen, though this will be a very different game to the one at the end of last month. Slovakia will deploy familiar tactics, however, keeping it tight at the back and looking to threaten on the counterattack. One thing is for sure: they won't resign themselves to defeat before the game – not even against the world champions.
Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Did you know?
Germany averaged 66% possession during the group stage – 5% more than any other team. Find out more facts and figures in our extensive match background.
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