Who are the favorites for EURO 2020?
After a year-long wait, it's finally time for the EURO 2020. As always a lot of people will try to predict the outcomes of the matches and ultimately predict who is gonna win it. But who are the favorites to win it this year? Will it be France, Spain, or Germany or will there be another team like Belgium or England that is going to surprise us all during the tournament.
This will be the second of the three long-reads in total, where we are going to take a look at teams that always perform well at the European Championship and that we expect to perform again this year. In our first long-read, we talked about the Spanish squad and now we will analyze the German squad.
After winning the World Cup in 2014, they had a terrible showing at the 2018 World Cup where they got knocked out in the group stage for the first time. Germany will be looking for redemption at the EURO 2020 however, this is going to be far from easy as they find themselves in the group of death with Portugal and France. According to data from Hypercube Germany has a 6,4% chance to win the Euros.
We start by discussing who should start for Germany at center-back, followed by a more in-depth analysis of its midfield, and end it with a look at the attacking force.
It will be no surprise that Neuer will start for Germany after ter Stegen has been ruled out for the Euros. Last Tuesday Germany played its last friendly match against Latvia. This was Neuer's 100th match for Germany after he made his first appearance in 2009. It will be no surprise that Neuer will start as Germany's first goalkeeper at the Euros.
It looks like Germany will be playing with 3 central defenders, so it is going to be interesting to see who Löw is going to start. Germany is bringing five players who can all be starting players, which are the following: Hummels, Can, Süle, Ginter, and Rudiger. Looking at the defensive stats of the last season, we can see that Hummels has the highest successful defensive actions per 90 minutes, followed by Can. However, Can wins the least defensive duels out of all five with only winning 62.69%. Overall the stats of all five players are very similar, so we are curious to see who Löw is going to start. In Germany's last friendly against Latvia, Low started Rüdiger, Hummels, and Ginter with Süle coming on as a substitute for Rüdiger.
The main strength of Germany is its midfield, the competition will be high for this area of the field and this is why we will take a closer look at Germany's midfield players.
Actions vs Percentage successful
In the scatterplot below we compare all the midfielders based on the number of actions per 90 minutes and how successful they are. This scatterplot shows the total number of actions a player and how successful the player is, this makes it a good indicator of the overall impact from the player.
In the scatterplot, we can see that three players really stand out from the rest, these are Kroos, Kimmich, and Gündoğan. This is partly influenced by the huge amount of passes they make each game however, it is interesting to see that Goretzka and Neuhaus have such low a low number of actions per 90 minutes. This indicates that they are overall less involved in the match. This could be explained by the fact that they are more defensive-minded midfielders and thus overall less involved in the passing game.
If Germany is going to play with two central midfielders it will be interesting to see how Kroos and Gündoğan will hold up, as neither are really defensive-minded and are more used to playing forward with a defensive midfielder covering their backs. This is where Goretzka, Neuhaus, and Kimmich will come into play, Löw can use either of them to keep a defensive balance on the midfield when Germany is playing against the top teams.
Dribbles vs Percentage successful
Above we looked at the total number of actions and how successful a player is, now we will look at who can create something themselves by dribbling.
If Germany is going to play in a 3-4-3, Löw can either choose to play Goosens and Kimmich as more defensive full-backs, or he can play two of the attacking midfielders. In the scatterplot, we can see that the 18-year old Bayern talent scores the best. Musiala has the most dribbles and is more successful than Gnabry and Sané. This will be his first tournament and we look forward to seeing him make his debut for Germany during the tournament. With Gnabry and Sané, Löw has a lot of options in midfield and attack as both can play as wide midfield players or as wingers. In the scatter we also see that Neuerhaus is quite a good dribbler compared to the other central midfielders.
Germany did not bring a lot of attackers to the Euros with its main strength being the midfield. Löw will most likely start a very dynamic attacking force with Müller and Havertz who are both more attacking midfielders. This will enable them to find the space in between the opponents' defensive lines. We also look forward to seeing how Löw is going to use striker Timo Werner, he has had a decent debut season at Chelsea scoring 16 goals and providing 12 assists. If he picks up some form at the Euros, he can be the most dangerous player for Germany and maybe even become the best player of the tournament.