Germany out to dent Dutch dreams after ‘slap in face’ year

Germany out to dent Dutch dreams after 'slap in face' year
Joachim Löw speaking to media on Sunday. Photo: DPA
Germany want to end their 'slap in the face' year by beating the Netherlands in Gelsenkirchen on Monday and preventing the Dutch reaching the Nations League knock-out phase.

The Netherlands need just one point to qualify for the semi-finals after their 2-0 win over France on Friday, which confirmed Germany's relegation to the 'B' league.

However, a victory for Germany in their final game of 2018 would hand first place and a semi-final berth in Group 1 to France.

After losing 3-0 away to the Dutch last month – one of a record six defeats the Germans have suffered in 2018 – head coach Joachim Löw needs a moral-boosting win as he rebuilds his team in the wake of their World Cup disaster.

“We have a point to prove and will do everything to win this match,” said Löw in Sunday's press conference.

“It's a shame for us that we can no longer turn the situation in the group, now we have to learn the right lessons and make the most of a disappointing year.

“We want to sign off with another strong performances to prove we are on the right track.

“We have been one of the most consistent teams over the last 10 years – this year was a real slap in the face, which was disappointing, but now it goes on.”

Germany are rebuilding after a woeful World Cup when they crashed out after the group stages in Russia. A youthful team, with an average age of just 24, beat Russia 3-0 in Leipzig last Thursday.

Goals by Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry and Niklas Süle saw off the Russians in a friendly, but Löw is likely to name a more experienced side against the Dutch.

Toni Kroos and Mats Hummels, both 2014 World Cup winners, are expected to come into the midfield and defence respectively.

Chief playmaker Marco Reus must shake off a bruised foot to make the starting line-up while Thomas Müller is likely to come off the bench for his 100th appearance for Germany.

Löw says he wants to see Germany take their chances against Ronald Koeman's revitalised Dutch, who inflicted a first defeat on France since their World Cup triumph with Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay scoring in Rotterdam.

“At the World Cup, our game lacked momentum and the killer instinct, we played too wide and we must focus more on attacking the opponents goal,” said Löw.

“We are on the right path, but we must continue to improve.”

READ ALSO: Dutch defeat piles pressure on Löw and misfiring Germany

Member comments

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or log in here.