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Revamped Germany ‘isn’t among’ Euro 2020 favourites: Löw

Germany head coach Joachim Löw insisted Friday his fledgling team can not be considered among the favourites for Euro 2020 as they look to wrap up qualification against Belarus this weekend.

Revamped Germany 'isn't among' Euro 2020 favourites: Löw
Germany coach Joachim Löw speaking in Düsseldorf on Friday. Photo: DPA

“I don’t think we’re among the top favourites,” said Löw ahead of Saturday’s Group C qualifier, citing world champions France, England, the Netherlands or Spain as potential winners next summer.

“A lot is possible, this team has great qualities, but many players still need a few more years to develop.”

READ ALSO: Bundesliga: Your complete guide to becoming a football fan in Germany

Germany, who are second in Group C, will book their Euros place in Mönchengladbach if they better Northern Ireland’s result in their match against group leaders the Netherlands.

The Germans are level on points with the Dutch with the top two teams going
through, and Löw is eager to wrap up qualification before Tuesday’s final qualifier against Northern Ireland, who are three points back in third.

“We’re two steps from the Euro 2020 finals, we want to win the last two games and have a positive end to the year,” said Löw.

‘A work in progress’

However Löw says his young Germany team is still a “work in progress” in the wake of last year’s World Cup debacle in Russia.

His side were humbled 4-2 at home in September by the Dutch, before throwing away a two-goal lead against a weak Argentina in last month’s 2-2 friendly draw in Dortmund.

After Germany failed to qualify from their group at the 2018 World Cup
finals, the 59-year-old cleaned out his squad in March by informing Thomas
Mueller, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng their international careers were over.

READ ALSO: ‘I thought they’d get killed by Germany’: Fans react to Die Mannschaft’s shock defeat

However, two key players in Löw’s new-look team, winger Leroy Sane, 23, and defender Niklas Suele, 24, are sidelined with long-term knee injuries.

Borussia Mönchengladbach defender Matthias Ginter, 25, will lead Germany’s back four against Belarus at Borussia Park.

“I have the feeling that ‘Matze’ (Ginter) is a bit undervalued, but I know how reliable he is and how well he can perform,” added Löw.

However with Ginter’s fellow centre back Suele set to miss most of the season, Löw has refused to recall Boateng or Hummels, his key defenders when Germany won the 2014 World Cup.

“The main thing is that he (Suele) returns fit, no one knows when he will be back on the pitch next,” added Löw.

Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos, Ilkay Gundogan of Manchester City and Bayern Munich’s Leon Goretzka will form Germany’s midfield behind RB Leipzig striker
Timo Werner, who has scored 11 goals in as many Bundesliga games.

Germany captain Manuel Neuer is under pressure in goal from Barcelona star
Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Löw has said Neuer will start against Belarus on Saturday while Ter Stegenwill face the Northern Irish three days later.

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FOOTBALL

British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.

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