Germany, as the hosts of Euro 2024, begin their home conquest with a game against a strong Scotland side.

For Germany, it’s their first chance since their group stage exit at Qatar to redeem themselves in front of a global audience. Germany was a team lost in direction, confused in playstyle, tied between allegiance to old players and a desire to move on to the next generation. The result was poor results against Japan and Spain at the World Cup and their eventual early exit. Since, they’ve changed.

Hansi Flick is out, and ex-Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann is in. Nagelsmann has introduced players like Leverkusen trio Robert Andrich, Jonathan Tah, and Florian Wirtz, all of which are slated to start tomorrow. Longtime players like Mario Götze, Serge Gnabry, and Thomas Muller are either not in the German squad or will see lesser involvement in the team. Nagelsmann is leading a sweeping reform inside Berlin, and the results have shown. Friendly wins over the United States, France, and the Netherlands show their progress, and although there has been a hiccup, this Friday match is the perfect opportunity for Nagelsmann to usher in a new era for the German national team.

Scotland are exciting underdogs

Scotland’s match against Germany is one of its biggest ever. A win or even a draw would set Scotland up to advance out of the group stage for the first time. And, make no mistake, this is one of Scotland’s best teams ever. Liverpool’s Andy Robertson leads an underrated set of players into Munich. United’s Scott McTominay, Real Sociedad’s Kieran Tierney, Southampton striker Che Adams, and more all comprise a quietly talented squad.

“Everyone outside Scotland thinks it’s a Germany win. We know ourselves that we are a good team and hard to beat when it comes to competitive games and we want to show that,” midfielder Billy Gilmour said. Gilmour will likely start on Friday for Steve Clarke’s side. “We go into every game trying to win the game. We have already tried and done stuff in training where we think we can break them down and go and win the game.”

Scotland needs that gritty mindset to walk away with a positive result against Germany.

For UEFA, it’s a rare opportunity to celebrate European culture without restrictions. UEFA wants to ‘promote a Euro where everyone feels welcome and diversity is celebrated,’ per the bland press statement it handed out to German media. But it’s difficult to understate the effect this European Championship will have.

Despite the entertainment of Euro 2020, COVID restrictions and stripped-back fan zones hampered the excitement of the tournament. However, Euro 2024 is the first Euro in nearly a decade with normal fan zones. It will unite nations — government officials and celebrities are expected to attend the tournament. Euro 2024 will be a return to good times and relief from the stress of the outside world, especially with COVID and political tension in the rearview mirror for now.

Three things to watch

Florian Wirtz is the youngest player in Germany’s Euros squad but will play the most important part.

The winger played a huge role for Leverkusen throughout the season, scoring 18 goals and adding 19 assists in 49 total appearances. He’s one of the main attacking threats for this team, and his performance against Scotland should prove it.

The 21-year-old is technically adept, an adept dribbler who can both build up attacks in the midfield and finish them off in the final third. He’s creative, intelligent, and an adept dribbler. Wirtz is the team’s creative force, and if he suffers from an inconsistent performance as he did against Greece, Germany as a whole could suffer.

Scotland will be huge underdogs on Friday. They’ve struggled recently — their 2-0 win over Gibraltar is their first win since September. Despite a solid qualifying win over Spain last March, more successful teams usually dominate the possession battle and the scoreline.

Could we see a game where Scotland bunker down and try to score by counter-attacking?

Scotland could play in the 5-4-1 shape they tested out in their 2-2 draw against Finland last Friday. For most of the match, Scotland played neatly, dominating possession and creating several chances. The partnership of Andrew Robertson and Kieran Tierney on the left side wreaked havoc on the Finnish defense, and they were able to maintain a neat backline. It’s exactly what they’ll need against a talented German offense full of playmakers. An open formation like the 4-2-3-1 they played against Gibraltar could leave them exposed to mismatches on the wing.

One of the biggest worries for this German side ahead of the Euros is how star Ilkay Gundogan will play.

He’s been noticeably inconsistent in Germany’s two June friendlies. Those yielded a draw against Ukraine and a win over Greece. The Barcelona midfielder slotted in at the #10 position against Greece but made several mistakes.

With Germany, however, it has never really worked out. There is an online joke circulating asking whether Gündogan will send his twin brother to international matches again. His quality is overlooked,” The Guardian’s Oliver Fritsch wrote. “His career with the national team has run contrary to his club career. He has yet to play a successful role for Germany at a tournament and has not been involved in a single knockout game. This is not only because of injuries he sustained during the team’s heyday, about a decade ago.”

He’s the team’s captain and will likely start the majority of Germany’s games on home turf, but if he continues his form from the World Cup and beyond. Germany not only needs the 33-year-old as a veteran presence in the locker room but also as the intelligent, instinctually creative attacker that he was at City and is at Barcelona.

Germany vs. Scotland at Euro 2024

Germany vs. Scotland will be available to watch on FOX Network in English and ViX for Spanish-language broadcasting. Streaming service Fubo will also show the game.

Ian Darke, who called the Euro 2020 final between Italy and England, will call Germany vs. Scotland. Color commentator and ex-USMNT star Landon Donovan will join him at the Allianz Arena in Munich.

In the news

Dutch manager Ronald Koeman confirmed that Frenkie de Jong and Teun Koopmeiners will miss the Euros through injury. Both were slated to start.

Koopmeiners played a vital attacking role for Atalanta during the season but injured his groin during Monday’s friendly against Iceland. De Jong is one of Europe’s most exciting midfielders but will miss the Euros with a persistent ankle issue. Dortmund fullbacks Ian Maatsen and Joshua Zirkzee will join the Dutch squad before their Sunday opener against Poland.

German police labeled England’s Sunday match against Serbia as high-risk, fearing hooliganism from English and Serbian fans. Germany expects 500 Serbian hooligans, known to celebrate war criminals, along with 40,000 English fans known for drunk behavior. Stadium workers will only serve light beer at the arena, per German authorities. England star John Stones missed Wednesday training due to illness.

Similarly, the Westfalenstadion in Dortmund is preparing for 50,000 Albania fans to attend their Saturday match against Italy — the largest fanbase outside of Germany. Albania will make its first Euros appearance since 2016, with several important politicians expected to attend the matches. They’ll face Italy, Croatia, and Spain in this year’s Group of Death.

Adidas released an iconic advert dedicated to England star Jude Bellingham, centered around the Beatles’ classic ‘Hey Jude’. The video features Three Lions stars Frank Lampard, Ian Wright, and more. Bellingham’s appearance in the video follows his appearance in a SKIMS advertisement.


Euro 2024

Here are some resources to get you ready for Euros!
Euro Bracket: Download a free PDF bracket for the tournament
Euro 2024 Schedule: Full schedule of all games for the 2024 tournament
How to watch: Information on where to find the games on TV and streaming
How to Stream Learn how you can stream Euro games live in 2024
2024 Soccer Calendar: Get the lowdown on what will be a busy year in soccer