Euro 2024

June 18, 2024

Euro 2024: Germany wary of ‘under pressure’ Hungary – Nagelsmann

Euro 2024: Germany wary of ‘under pressure’ Hungary – Nagelsmann

Germany’s head coach Julian Nagelsmann looks on during a MD-1 training session in Herzogenaurach, Bavaria, on June 18, 2024, on the eve of their UEFA Euro 2024 Group A football match against Hungary. (Photo by Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP)

Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann said Tuesday his side would not underestimate a wounded and “under pressure” Hungary in Wednesday’s Euro 2024 clash in Stuttgart.

Hungary, considered by many the second-best side in the group, were soundly beaten 3-1 by Switzerland in their first game and will slide close to elimination should they lose again on Wednesday.

“Hungary after that result are a little more under pressure than we are,” said Nagelsmann, adding “they deserved more than they got” against Switzerland.

Hosts Germany, under pressure after almost a decade of poor performances at major tournaments before Friday’s Euro opener, were dominant in thrashing Scotland 5-1, but Nagelsmann said his side would not underestimate Hungary.

“They’ll be a bit more offensive against us than they were against Switzerland,” said Nagelsmann.

But the 36-year-old coach added that his side cannot come onto the pitch “expecting to shoot the opponent out of the stadium”.

He also lauded the “extreme physicality” of the Hungarian side.

“They have a clear offensive system which gives us chances if we defend well but poses risks if we defend poorly,” said Nagelsmann.

The German boss added that Hungary “are great in counters and transitions” but said the result “depends on how we perform and how we get into the game”.

“We are trying to give them similar challenges (as we did Scotland),” said Nagelsmann.

Germany goalkeeper and 2014 World Cup winner Manuel Neuer on Monday said he shared his coach’s sentiments, saying experience showed him that teams can fall back to earth after impressing in a tournament opener.

“It’s a very tough team to play against that naturally tries to be aggressive in tackles. We’ve already experienced that in the other games,” said Neuer.

“We won’t underestimate them under any circumstances and will try to stay in this flow.”

Germany defender Maximilian Mittelstaedt played the full 90 minutes against Scotland on Friday and will start on Wednesday at the home ground of his club Stuttgart.

The 27-year-old left-back was relegated with Hertha Berlin last summer but impressed after moving to Stuttgart, making his Germany debut in March before cementing his spot in the starting XI.

He told reporters on Tuesday: “If someone told me this would happen (before the season), I would probably have called them crazy.”

– Germany vs Hungary: Perfect match –

Germany are winless in their past three matches against Hungary, including a 2-2 draw at Euro 2020 in Munich.

The Germans have not beaten the Hungarians in a competitive fixture dating back to 1954, when the underdog West Germany defeated Ferenc Puskas’ much-fancied Hungary in the World Cup final.

Hungary manager Marco Rossi was realistic, saying on Tuesday: “We know that on paper –- and not only on paper –- the German team is better than us.

“We can’t take offence to that, actually it should further stimulate and push us. Hopefully we can get a point tomorrow and that will help us qualify for the next round.

“But this will call for the perfect match.”

Coming into the tournament the Hungarians had been in outstanding form, going without defeat in 12 outings before a 1-0 loss to Ireland in a warm-up friendly.

Andras Schafer, who plays with German Bundesliga side Union Berlin, said it was his “childhood dream to score at the Euros”, having netted in the 2-2 draw in Munich, but added: “I’d be happy if someone else scored on my team.”

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