Germany eye Spain, Portugal or Belgium for March friendlies
Serge Gnabry hit a hat-trick and Bayern Munich team-mate Leon Goretzka scored twice Tuesday in a 6-1 routing of Northern Ireland, which confirmed the Germans as winners of their qualifying group ahead of the Netherlands.Updated: Nov 20, 2019 17:33 IST
Germany coach Joachim Loew has revealed that the side are “certain” to face Spain next March with Belgium or Portugal also potential opponents in the build-up to the Euro 2020 finals.
Serge Gnabry hit a hat-trick and Bayern Munich team-mate Leon Goretzka scored twice Tuesday in a 6-1 routing of Northern Ireland, which confirmed the Germans as winners of their qualifying group ahead of the Netherlands.
Loew revealed the German Football Association (DFB) are on the verge of confirming a friendly against Spain, which Spanish media report could be played in Madrid, with potentially Belgium or Portugal in another friendly match also in March.
“Spain is certain. The last conversations are taking place,” said Loew.
“The second opponent is not yet decided. We are trying to get Portugal or Belgium.
“We are waiting until after the draw” for the Euro 2020 finals on November 30 in Bucharest.
“We’re relaxed,” about the draw, added Loew, “we’ll take it as it comes.”
Germany are poised to play their three Group F games in Munich at the Euros 2020 finals, which will be hosted by 12 European cities from June 12 to July 12.
“Of course that’s a big advantage for us,” said Loew.
“We can plan now and don’t have to travel.”
Germany has scored 10 goals in their last two games and Loew says the “fun is back”.
The mood in the German camp is again upbeat after September’s 4-2 humbling at home to the Netherlands and long-term knee injuries to Leroy Sane and Niklas Suele.
“We didn’t let ourselves be shaken,” said Loew as his side roared back after conceding an early goal against the Northern Irish in Frankfurt. “We immediately pushed forward and didn’t get nervous.
“The team didn’t let up and was rewarded for its efforts. It was fun.”
Loew’s squad now will not come together again until the March friendlies.
“The break is a pity, it’s always a bit difficult, because you have to work through some things again,” admitted Loew.
“We’ll have to see who is fit, who is in form.”
Loew poured praise on Goretzka and Gnabry as the latter has now scored 13 goals in as many internationals.
“His (Gnabry’s) goal quota is fantastic, he is extremely important for the team, he is a self starter and technically outstanding,” enthused Loew.
“Leon does what defences can barely handle, if he stays fit, he is a regular for us.”