Germany Vs. Denmark, 2012 European Championships: Die Mannschaft Just Needs A Draw, Won't Play Like It

Mario Gomez of Germany celebrates scoring their second goal with Mesut Ozil of Germany during the UEFA EURO 2012 group B match between Netherlands and Germany at Metalist Stadium in Kharkov, Ukraine. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Germany and Denmark both automatically progress to the quarterfinals with a victory, so don't expect a handshake draw.

Germany can still make an exit from Euro 2012 on six points in a scenario that isn't terribly convoluted, which is a bit odd, but they'll still be happy to be in control of their own destiny on Sunday. With either a win or a draw against Denmark, Germany is through to the quarterfinals, and considering what transpired in Group A on Saturday, they might not care if they finish first or second.

The closing minutes of games have not been particularly strong for Germany so far in this tournament, but they've also conceded just once in 180 minutes, even though there were plenty of questions surrounding their defense entering the tournament. Mats Hummels has answered all of them, and heading into their final group game, Germany look like the best team in the tournament.

They should win again on Sunday, but Denmark are no pushovers. Save for the period of time between William Kvist's injury and the halftime whistle against Portugal, where they looked disorganized, they've had a very solid tournament. They're going to be made to spend a lot of time without of the ball and defend against Germany, and they showed in their match against the Netherlands that they're perfectly capable of doing that while finding a way to win in the process.


Last game: Germany 2-1 Netherlands, Portugal 3-2 Denmark


Whether Denmark gets Kvist back or they have to start the game with one of the Poulsens in midfield, they will be prepared. Kvist is the team's best central midfielder and he gives Denmark the best chance to win if he's healthy, but the Danish midfield appeared to be thrown off more by the change than his actual loss. Whoever does play will have the tough task of denying supply to Mesut Özil while also keeping an eye on Bastian Schweinsteiger, who Holland failed to close down in the last round of Group B play.

Denmark aren't expected to make any moves other than in the center of midfield, and what they'll get out of their forward players is anyone's guess. Dennis Rommedahl has been a steady performer, while Christian Eriksen has been disappointing and both Nicklas Bendtner and Michael Krohn-Delhi have had up-and-down performances. If Eriksen and any of the three players around him can put together a consistent performance, Germany will have quite a bit to worry about, but it wouldn't be shocking to see all four of them disappear.

Joachim Löw will have to make one change to his team, at right back, where Jerome Boateng will be serving a suspension. Germany's fullback options aren't exceptional, and one of their flanks might be a weakness that Denmark can attack depending on what adjustments are made. Löw could opt to move Philipp Lahm to right back and bring in Marcel Schmelzer, but it's more likely that he plays central defender Benedikt Höwedes out of position at right back, while Lahm stays put on the left.

Projected Germany Lineup (4-2-3-1): Manuel Neuer; Philipp Lahm, Holger Badstuber, Mats Hummels, Benedikt Höwedes; Sami Khedira, Bastian Schweinsteiger; Lukas Podolski, Mesut Özil, Thomas Müller; Mario Gomez

Projected Denmark Lineup (4-2-3-1): Stephan Andersen; Simon Poulsen, Daniel Agger, Simon Kjaer, Lars Jacobsen; William Kvist, Niki Zimling; Michael Krohn-Delhi, Christian Eriksen, Dennis Rommedahl; Nicklas Bendtner

football formations

Monty the Psychic Metal Disk says: The Germans are just too good. 2-0 Germany.

Game Date/Time: Sunday, June 17th, 2:45 p.m. ET, 9:45 p.m. local

Venue: Arena Lviv, Lviv, Ukraine

TV: ESPN 2 (U.S. - English), ESPN Deportes (U.S. - Spanish), ITV 4 (U.K.)

Online: ESPN3

We'll have live coverage of both of Saturday's games simultaneously in our Euro 2012, Group B Finale StoryStream. For more on Euro 2012 and the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on twitter.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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