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Is Germany dancing to the rhythm of Toni Kroos to win the title?

Is Germany dancing to the rhythm of Toni Kroos to win the title?

“We're far from finished here.” What seems logical and understandable for host Germany after two victories in the group stage, but in the words of Toni Kroos has a certain weight and meaning. In his podcast “Einfach mal luppen”, which Kroos runs with his brother and retired footballer Felix, he once explained to millions of listeners: His goal before retiring after the tournament was to win the same.

Despite the feeling of relief after the Hungary match, “and the bus trip from Stuttgart to Herzogenaurach was of course better after this win,” the focus immediately afterwards was on today’s match to achieve victory in the group stage against Switzerland. Team Germany always has the big picture in mind. “The Swiss are definitely the strongest competitors in the tournament in terms of quality,” says Kroos, who regulates the midfield and eliminates bad passes from his game. There were 124 passes against the Hungarians, only Xavi had more against Ireland in 2012 with 127. In the first match, 101 of 102 passes reached a teammate. 47 so-called 'break passes', i.e. vertical passes that create space, was the absolute highest score against Hungary, followed only by Kroos himself from the Scotland match with 30.

Deft passing will also be essential against Switzerland so that they can undermine their disciplined defensive behavior and, above all, to avoid losing the ball and counter-attacking. It remains unclear who Cross's passports should go to. In order to avoid any yellow card suspensions and perhaps keep one or the other, national coach Julian Nagelsmann could make changes in the squad. Robert Andrich, Jonathan Tah, Antonio Rudiger and Maxi Mittelstadt are already under pressure, Pascal Gross would be an ideal replacement for Andrich in midfield, and Borussia Dortmund centre-back Nico Schlotterbeek is a hot candidate in defence, who Nagelsmann also met in pre-season training. The Switzerland match was intensely occupied for a long time. “Ultimately, it is our duty as coaches to respond,” Nagelsmann said.

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Will Nagelsmann bring Eintracht player to Frankfurt?

Leroy Sane, Niklas Volkrug or veteran Thomas Müller, who were recently replaced in attack, would also provide more playing time in such a game. Müller came on as a substitute against the Scots in his native Munich, and in Stuttgart against Hungary, Nagelsmann brought on VFB players Deniz Undav and Chris Fuhrich for the first time in the tournament. If Nagelsmann follows the rule of the series, the big moment could come for Eintracht centre-back Robin Koch in Frankfurt.

Speaking of Frankfurt: the grass there is causing some concern for the officials. So far, players have complained about slippery surfaces and loose pieces of grass. However, UEFA announced that it has a maintenance plan for the green and hopes that there will be an improvement by today.