With just days until the start of Euro 2016, preparations will be well under way across the twenty-four nations who will all have aspirations of achieving glory in France this summer. It will be the first tournament that sees an increase from sixteen to twenty-four teams – a move that will provide football fans with even more entertainment, excitement and drama on the pitch to absorb. Germany will value the European Championship as the perfect opportunity to establish a dominant hold on international football by adding the trophy to the World Cup they won in Brazil two years ago, but while Betway rate Joachim Low’s team amongst the strong favourites to triumph at the Stade de France, Die Mannschaft are unlikely to have things their own way. Tournaments have often brought out the best in Germany over the years, but as it is twenty years since the national team triumphed at a European Championship, it may require the new generation of star players to really make their mark and fire Germany to glory.
Low has opted for a mix of experience and youth in the 23-man squad that he will take to France and prepare at their training camp based in Evian-Les-Bains. His decision to select Sami Khedira and Bastian Schweinsteiger has come under question due to the fact that both have endured injury-hit seasons at their respective clubs, but both offer invaluable experience in an area of the pitch that could be crucial this summer. Fans have also been left disappointed by Marco Reus’s omission from his second major tournament in a row due to injury, but their hopes have been lifted by the inclusion of three young stars who have lit up the Bundesliga this season. Joshua Kimmich, Julian Weigl and Leroy Sane have all earned their place at Euro 2016 and been picked ahead of more illustrious names, but although Low may place his faith in more experienced players who can handle the pressure of international football, there is no question that Germany’s talent could make a real impact.
Sane certainly stands out as a young star that could provide Germany with a creative spark, whether as part of the starting line-up or being utilised as an impact substitute. The 20-year-old has enjoyed a wonderful season for Schalke, scoring eight goals in thirty-three Bundesliga appearances as his team finished fifth to secure a Europa League spot. His trickery and lightning speed from wide positions has seen his profile rise considerably, with the likes of Bayern Munich and Manchester City paying close attention to Sane’s progress. New Schalke coach Markus Weinzierl may find it difficult to hold onto his hugely talented star, particularly if Sane make a strong impression for Germany this summer. Fans can hierhin gehen to back Low and his players to reach the latter stages, with Die Mannschaft favourites to beat Ukraine in their opening game with Betway and make a strong statement of intent from the start at Euro 2016. Sane may be given his chance to shine during the group stages where Low’s team will face Ukraine, Poland and Northern Ireland, and although Germany are unlikely to take no chances in Group C, it is debatable whether anyone in the squad offers the same level of pace and danger as Sane.
Schalke’s rising star is not the only young prodigy to feature in Germany’s Euro 2016 squad, with Kimmich and Weigl also being selected for their first ever major international tournament. The former has surprised everyone by becoming an important player for Bayern Munich this season, with Kimmich making the most of the opportunity to shine in defence when Pep Guardiola called on him to step in. Kimmich, who moved from Stuttgart after enjoying an impressive two-year long spell at RB Leipzig, may see playing time limited next season following the signing of Mats Hummels, but the 21-year-old is more than adept at playing as a holding midfielder . He may, however, be usurped by Weigl in the pecking order during Euro 2016, with Borussia Dortmund’s young star establishing himself as a first-choice midfielder in his debut season after moving from 1860 Munich. Low certainly sees something in the 20-year-old, with Weigl showing superb passing ability and understanding of his position at such a young age. He could be a perfect alternative if Khedira or Schweinsteiger are struggling for fitness, and with Borussia Dortmund already raving over their hugely talented midfielder, it could be time for the whole of Europe to see how good Weigl is.