Germany will be looking to get their new era off to the best possible start when they face the Netherlands on Sunday.
Joachim Low’s men endured a torrid 2018 and, as such, plenty of changes have been made to the squad as they look to rebuild. Meanwhile, the Netherlands ended last year on a high and will be looking to build for their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.
Read on for Netherlands v Germany TV channel info, team news, predicted XIs and stats.
When is Netherlands vs Germany?
Competition: Uefa Euro 2020 qualifying Group C
Venue: Amsterdam ArenA
Date: Sunday, 24 March
Kick-off: 7:45 PM GMT
Where can I watch live?
Netherlands’ game against Germany can be viewed by UK residents on Sky Sports Premier League, channel 402 on Sky and channel 502 for Virgin Media users.
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Despite being two great footballing nations, the previous layout of qualification campaigns and major competitions means the pair have met 42 times. Germany hold the advantage with 15 wins the Holland’s 11, but a draw is the most frequent result between the two, happening 16 times.
Netherlands wins: 11 Draws: 16 Germany wins: 15
With the new international system in place in Europe, which includes the Nations League, the current international break brings the start of Euro 2020 qualifiers, and games won’t get much more important than Netherlands vs Germany.
The pair met twice last season in the Uefa Nations League, with the Netherlands winning one and drawing one – results which saw them top League A1 and through to the finals in June. In contrast, Germany were relegated to League B, compounding on a horrible year for Die Mannschaft.
The Nations League exit came off the back of a poor World Cup defence in which Joachim Low’s men finished bottom of their group after two defeats, sending the nation into crisis.
While the Netherlands weren’t at the World Cup – the second consecutive major tournament they had missed – Ronald Koeman managed to turn 2018 around and looks to be building a solid team, ready to battle for trophies once more.
And they will be looking to get off to the best possible start in qualifying for Euro 2020, taking on Group C rivals Germany in their second match after easing past Belarus.. Also in the group are Estonia, Belarus and Northern Ireland.
What are the biggest changes in Germany’s new era?
Despite Bayern Munich’s reemergence at the top of the Bundesliga this season after a poor start, Joachim Low has decided to call time on the international careers of Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels – at least for the foreseeable future.
As such, Germany’s squad for the current international break features 10 players with five or fewer caps and three yet to make an appearance for Die Mannschaft.
The uncapped players consist of Hertha Berlin full-back Niklas Starkand Maximillian Eggestein of Werder Bremen while Lukas Klostermann made his debut in the friendly draw against Serbia. The trio are all 23 or younger, and are part of a generally younger squad with 19-year-old Kai Havertz the youngest.
However, there is still room for veterans Manuel Neuer, Toni Kroos and Marco Reus – the oldest trio with a combined 214 caps.
Can the Netherlands make 2019 their year?
With the almost-total abolition of international friendlies in Europe, the Netherlands face some big games in 2019, including Sunday’s clash with Germany.
When Ronald Koeman took charge of the national team last February, the Netherlands were in limbo having failed to qualify for the World Cup and a daunting Uefa Nations League campaign on the horizon.
But Koeman has since worked miracles for the Oranje, overseeing wins over both France and Germany en route to topping their group and reaching the final four of the Nations League where they face England in the semi-finals in June.
And the improvements appear to be sustainable, with an impressive batch of young Dutch players coming through in the Eredivisie – spearheaded by Ajax pair Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt. These are flanked by the growing big-game performances of Virgil van Dijk and Ryan Babel who proved vital in the Nations League, ready to lead the younger stars to glory.
While some may look at 2019 as a quiet year for truly competitive international football with no major tournament, the Netherlands can really use it as a launch pad for Euro 2020 – starting with another big win over Germany.
How does Euro 2020 qualifying work?
With the Uefa Nations League coming into play last year, in addition to the increased 24-team tournament, the qualification campaign for Euro 2020 has slightly changed.
The top two teams from the 10 groups will all automatically qualify for next year’s tournament, leaving four spots remaining. But instead of the play-off places being based off Euro 2020 qualifying, the Uefa Nations League takes precedent.
The 16 group winners from the Nations League will take part in play-offs, one play-off tree per League, meaning one team from each level will be at Euro 2020.
However, this is where things get slightly messy. Should a group winner have already secured their Euro 2020 place through the European Qualifiers, then the spot goes to the next best-ranked team in their league. If there are not enough teams left from the same league, then the spot goals to the best-ranked team from the overall Nations League ranking.
The play-offs are single-leg knockout matches with the teams ranked first and second in the overall ranking playing at home. There will then be a draw to see who will play the final at home.
While some national teams have seen players drop out like flies due to injury concerns, Ronald Koeman has had no such problems with his Dutch side. The former Everton boss looks set to be able to call upon his key players such as the titanic centre-back pairing of Virgil van Dijk and Matthijs de Ligt.
Following Germany’s draw against Serbia, there were some concerns over the fitness of Leroy Sane who was on the receiving end of a horror tackle from Milan Pavkov. Fortunately, the Man City winger escaped any injury and will be available for selection on Sunday. However, Germany will be without Lukas Klostermann who picked up a muscle injury after making his debut against Serbia.
Predicted Netherlands XI: Cillessen; Tete, De Ligt, Van Dijk, Blind; De Roon, De Jong; Promes, Wijnaldum, Babel; Depay.
Predicted Germany XI: Neuer; Sule, Stark, Rudiger; Kehrer, Kimmich, Kroos, Schulz; Sane, Reus, Werner.
Sunday’s game will be a tough one to call as the Netherlands are on the up and Germany’s new breed will want to get back on track after their poor run of results. It should be exciting and Netherlands may just edge it. Netherlands 2-1 Germany