The war rages on in Ukraine. Even if one might think that there are currently more important things in Eastern Europe than a European football tournament, the European Championship in Ukraine unfolds an unimagined radiance. They want to present unity. Wherever pro-Russian separatists are currently at war with the Ukrainian military, West and East Ukrainians stand side by side in the Ukrainian national team. From a sporting point of view, it should be difficult in Group C. The successful qualification was only possible via the playoffs against Slovenia. A European Championship participation in their own country, which ended in the group phase, has so far been booked. The Schowto-blakytni, the Yellow-Blue, have never won against Germany.

At least as far as the numbers are concerned, the Northern Irish should not be too confident at the European Championship in France. The other three group opponents would do well not to underestimate the island’s small country. Although the team is taking part in a European Championship finals for the first time, the heirs of George Best already proved in the group stage that they can actually play good football. After all, the Northern Irish qualified as group winners – undefeated and with the most goals scored. In the end, it was only enough for pot 4 in the draw. In the world rankings, however, they have already advanced to 30th place. By the way, the Northern Irish have already defeated the Germans twice, even if that was 31 years ago. Still, Northern Ireland could become the surprise group C team.

A lot can happen in six months. As usual, a few test matches will be played before the start of the finals, some of which are already scheduled. The game against the Netherlands that was canceled due to the terror warning should also be rescheduled if possible.

First, however, the German national team will face the first real endurance test against long-term rivals England on March 26th. Just three days later, the DFB-Elf travels to Munich and receives fearful opponents Italy there. For Jogi Löw and his coaching team, these games are likely to be particularly interesting and important, as they face two favorites from this year’s EM.

After the two test games in quick succession, there should be two more matches in the current planning. Opponents and dates have not yet been set. The national team should definitely play four to five games before they leave for France. Incidentally, the national team will be quartered very close to Lake Geneva in Evian-les-Bains. As usual, a training camp will take place before this final round, in which coaches, supervisors and players prepare tactically, physically and mentally for the upcoming tournament.

You will travel to the training camp in Ascona, Switzerland on May 23rd. Who will be there by then is still questionable. This is probably also related to the international performance of the German teams. In addition to Borussia Dortmund, Schalke 04 and Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League, national players are also represented in the Champions League at VFL Wolfsburg and FC Bayern Munich. By mid-May, Joachim Löw should and will have decided on the final squad. The nomination period for the 23 players who are allowed to attend the European Championship ends on May 31.

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