Germany to 'play to win' despite possible Spain clash

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Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann said his team will play to win against Switzerland on Sunday, despite the risk of meeting in-form Spain in the quarter-finals.

4 weeks ago
Germany have already qualified for the knockout stages and will be first in the group with a win or a draw against the Swiss in Frankfurt on Sunday. That will however put them on track for a match-up with Spain, who are also on course to top their group and have been among the best teams at the tournament so far.
"I think it's normal to discuss these topics," said Nagelsmann. "At the end of the day it's difficult to talk to your team and tell them to lose tomorrow. "That doesn't make sense for competitive people. Normally you play a football game to win and tomorrow's a game to win." The 36-year-old coach also said Germany or any other team could be caught out by thinking too far in the future.
"We cannot predict who will be the opponent exactly in the knockout stage, but at the end it's just about getting more confidence and more rhythm, by winning games in a row. "Tomorrow's the next game we want to win it, it doesn't matter who will be the next opponent. We'll know our next opponent Tuesday at 11pm and will have time to prepare it."
Switzerland sit second in the group on four points and will guarantee second place with a draw. Nagelsmann called opposing coach Murat Yakin "a great manager who I hold in high esteem", while singling out Switzerland as "the strongest opponents in the group". "It'll be an interesting match - and we want to win."
Centre-back Jonathan Tah, who won the double this year with Xabi Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen, agreed with his coach. "That's our mindset. We go into every game to win every game," Tah said. Leverkusen became the first team in Bundesliga history to go a domestic season unbeaten and only lost one of 53 games this year - the Europa League final clash with Atalanta.
"We want to be group winners because we want to see our name at the top. That's our goal." Since shaking up the Germany squad with 11 changes in March, Nagelsmann has played the same starting XI whenever players were available and has played an unchanged side so far at Euro 2024.
The coach said Saturday "there aren't any changes as of now," despite four players coming into Sunday's game on a yellow card. "I think at national level it's important the starting team is maintained," Nagelsmann said. "We don't have that much time to train or to play together."