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Preview: Gibraltar vs. Germany

Sports Mole looks ahead to the Euro 2016 qualifier in Group D between minnows Gibraltar and world champions Germany.

World Cup winners Germany haven't had it all their own way in qualifying for Euro 2016 and still have plenty to do going into the second round of fixtures.

Die Mannschaft are second in Group D, a point behind Poland, but will be expected to pick up a comfortable three points when they take on minnows Gibraltar at the Estadio Do Algarve in Portugal tomorrow.


Joseph Chipolina of Gibraltar celebrates after Lee Casciaro of Gibraltar (not pictured) scored their first goal during the EURO 2016 Qualifier match between Scotland and Gibraltar at Hampden Park on March 29, 2015© Getty Images

Gibraltar, which has a population of just 30,000, are competing in their first qualifying for a major tournament after being given full UEFA membership two years ago.

Understandably, they have been outclassed and have no points and the worst goal difference (-26) of anyone in qualifying.

David Wilson's side conceded 27 total goals in the first half of qualifying - seven more than anyone else - but they aren't scoreless like San Marino.

Their first competitive goal arrived at Hampden Park in their last qualifier when Lee Casciaro equalised against Scotland in the 20th minute. The hosts would go on to win 6-1, but it was a moment to remember for the minnows.

Since then, they took on Croatia in a friendly on Sunday, going down 4-0 in Varazdin.

Recent Euro 2016 qualifying form: LLLLL
Recent form (all competitions): LLLLLL


Germany's midfielder Thomas Mueller (2nd L) celebrates with his teammates Andre Schuerrle and Mario Goetze on Septemeber 7, 2014© Getty Images

It will be exactly 11 months since Germany's fourth World Cup triumph in Brazil when they face Gibraltar tomorrow.

That memorable extra-time victory over Argentina in Brazil must seem a long time ago now as Joachim Low's side have been far from their best since then.

They have failed to win five of their nine games since Brazil, with their late defeat to the USA on Wednesday the third time in four friendlies that they have failed to win.

However, they have won back-to-back games without conceding in Euro 2016 qualifying since an iffy start which saw them win just one of three games against Scotland, Poland and the Republic of Ireland.

Qualification for the finals in France next year still seems likely, especially as the top two and the best third-placed finisher will reach the tournament automatically.

Low's side are a point adrift of leaders Poland, level with third-placed Scotland on 10 points and two clear of Ireland in what is a four-horse race in Group D.

Recent Euro 2016 qualifying form: WLDWW
Recent form (all competitions): DWWDWL

Team News

Monchengladbach striker Max Kruse celebrates during the German first division Bundesliga football match Borussia Dortmund vs Borussia Moenchengladbach in Dortmund, western Germany on March 15, 2014© Getty Images

Manuel Neuer is absent from the squad and Ron-Robert Zieler is likely to get the nod over Roman Weidenfeller between the sticks.

Further forward, Max Kruse should start in a lone striking role, with Patrick Herrmann, Mesut Ozil and Andre Schurrle possibly starting in a three-pronged attacking midfield.

Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels are both in the squad, but they might be rested as Antonio Rudiger and Shkodran Mustafi could start in central defence.

Gibraltar, meanwhile, are likely to start with a three-man central defence of Jack Sargeant, Roy Chipolina and Ryan Casciaro. Another Casciaro, Kyle, could lead the line for the hosts.

Gibraltar possible starting lineup:
Perez; Garcia, Sergeant, Chipolina, Casciaro, Chipolina; Walker, Bardon, Payas, Gosling; Casciaro

Germany possible starting lineup:
Zieler; Rudy, Mustafi, Rudiger, Hector; Gundogan, Schweinsteiger; Herrmann, Ozil, Schurrle; Kruse

Head To Head

The November reverse in Nuremburg was the first ever meeting between the two sides.

Germany were three up at the break thanks to Mario Gotze and a brace from Thomas Muller before an own goal from Yogen Santos midway through the second half made it four.

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Gibraltar 0-6 Germany

Anything but a comprehensive win for the visitors would be a huge shock. Only Georgia scored fewer than Germany against Gibraltar in the first half of qualifying and Low's men will want to make a statement after the surprise late defeat to the States.

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US midfielder Mix Diskerud celebrates scoring during the International friendly football match between Germany and the USA in Cologne, western Germany on June10, 2015
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