Watch: Huth Chats To McInally About Germany's Euro 2024 Knockout Stage Hopes

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Watch: Huth Chats To McInally About Germany's Euro 2024 Knockout Stage Hopes

In our latest Euro 2024 edition of The Panel, three-time Premier League winner Robert Huth spoke with host Alan McInally about Germany’s prospects of winning the tournament on home soil.

Die Mannschaft qualified for the knockout stage following Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Switzerland, although they are perhaps regretting Niclas Fullkrug’s stoppage-time equaliser which meant they advanced as Group A winners.

Topping the group has not done them any favours, as they are now in the tougher half of the draw which also includes France, Spain and Portugal.

Before they face any of the international heavyweights, Julian Nagelsmann’s side clash with Denmark in the round of 16 on Saturday night.

The winner could face Spain in the quarter-finals on July 5, but should it be Kai Havertz or Fullkrug playing up front for the tournament hosts?

Fullkrug has yet to start a match at Euro 2024, but already has twice as many goals as the Arsenal striker.

Former Chelsea and Leicester defender Huth told The Panel who should be leading the line, gave his predictions for Germany's game in Dortmund and discussed the problems with England, who are now tournament favourites with football betting sites despite a lacklustre campaign. 

Huth Fronts Up To Havertz-Fullkrug Dilemma

Havertz's only goal of the tournament came from the spot against Scotland in the absence of regular penalty-taker Ilkay Gundogan, but Fullkrug has scored twice in his three appearances from the bench.

The debate on who should start as the focal point of attack against Denmark is a tricky one, but Huth believes Fullkrug's dramatic equaliser against the Swiss proves he can bring something different to the team. 

He said: “I love an old-school number nine. That header against Switzerland was as good as it gets. It didn’t get too much of a mention really, but I thought it was a sensational header.

“Havertz obviously gives us a little bit more flexibility in terms of his movement. He can come short, he can spin.

“I think with Fullkrug on, we do tend to put the ball in the box quicker. He’s such a powerful lad and he has great vision like he’s shown in the tournament already. 

“I think it’s a really nice problem to have with these two options because you can change them if we’re desperate for a goal.

“Towards the end, Switzerland sat really deep and we didn’t really have any space. We were just able to put the ball into the box for someone to head it in. That’s a gift in itself to be able to have that rather than have a Plan A or a Plan B.

“I love Full's energy when he comes on - he runs on like he means business. Sometimes you see players when they come on and they just jog on. He’s like ‘bang!’ - let me loose, basically.

“I think he’s a great team-mate. You don’t hear any problems with him or moaning that he’s not playing. He understands his role in the team and understands the bigger picture. He could be right in asking to start the game because he’s been terrific.

“Havertz scored with a penalty, but ultimately he’s there to score. I think it’s a difficult situation for Nagelsmann to see who is going to start against Denmark, because I think there’s an argument for Fullkrug to start, for sure.”

Defence First For Southgate

Huth understands the criticism levelled at Gareth Southgate, whom he played under at Middlesbrough, but he believes the England manager is right to adopt a cautious approach to games.

The German also thinks it could be a mistake starting the next game with Cole Palmer, who made an impact from the bench against Slovenia.

He said: “I like being a bit more defensive. A solid defence will win you titles – that’s the ultimate block.

“Have they been too defensive? Yes, of course they have, but if you do play Palmer, is he defensively open-minded to run back and do the hard yards? 

“It’s finding the middle ground. It’s not a great bunch. I think the real issue at the moment is the lack of sharpness. When they scored that offside goal against Slovenia, that was a ‘bang, bang and in’, but they kind of dropped off again. They haven’t had moments like this.

“Physically, they’re all in fantastic shape and I can’t understand why they’re struggling. We know it’s hot in Germany and many teams have struggled, but they’re not looking as sharp as they could be.

“Evidence of the past couple of tournaments would suggest to go more defensive because Gareth has always been defensive.”

Nagelsmann Made Key Mistake Against Switzerland 

Huth believes Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann made an error in selecting Antonio Rudiger and Jonathan Tah against Switzerland when they were both on yellow cards from the first two games.

Tah picked up a second caution and is suspended and Rudiger sustained an injury which could rule him out of Saturday’s match.

However, Huth is confident Germany will cope without them if they are both unavailable against Denmark.

Huth said: “I was genuinely worried we would get England. I’m not being disrespectful to Denmark hopefully, but it’s a beatable draw for us. 

“We can go there confident without having to change too much of our game plan. We don’t have to make too many changes as we would against France or Spain or Italy.  

“We can dominate the game like we did in the first two games. I think we can dominate possession and try to cut Denmark open with quick and accurate passing.”

Robert Huth's Best Bets:

Correct Score - Germany 3 Denmark 1 
Niclas Fullkrug To Score Two Or More Goals

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