During this international break, Germany could secure qualification for the 2023 Women’s World Cup. A win against Portugal on Saturday would bring a vital three points.
National team coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg and FC Bayern midfielder Giulia Gwinn spoke to the media ahead of the fixture.
Their last meeting saw Germany beat Portugal in a convincing 3-1 win. Since then, however, the Portuguese’s form has improved. In February, they caused an upset with a surprising victory over to -team Norway at the Algarve Cup.
Voss-Tecklenburg is aware of the opponent’s unpredictability.
“We know their strengths”, she said. “They simply have fast, good strikers and good energy. They don’t give up, have a good squad depth. And from that we know, no matter in which system they play, they are variable.
“We have our games ideas, regardless of how the opponent will deal with us or what information and game plan [they] will come with.
“We are prepared for things, [and] obviously want to make it extremely difficult for the Portuguese team to get into their own game. But that means we have to be vigilant, that we have to be well prepared for long runs and the fast counters.”
Voss-Tecklenburg highlights that her side is currently in great form.
“We prepared things well”, she pointed out. “We also have the good scenes from the first leg as a reminder. Not as a motivation, but also as a confirmation of what we can do, what we want.
“Of course we know that Portugal want to throw everything back here and want to beat us. So obviously, we need points to keep on going, because not only do we still have chances in direct qualification.
“That’s why they will throw everything in with their good mentality and for us, it’s important to counteract that.”
Growing the game
Giulia Gwinn is excited play in front of almost 7,000 fans.
“We are of course happy about every single spectator who supports us in the stadium”, she said. “The fact that the numbers are now going up again is of course a positive development for us, especially with regard to the European Championships.”
The midfielder believes that the Champions League games were a great platform to show what the players are capable of.
“We did good advertising for women’s football and I think that attracts people”, Gwinn explained. “So, it’s great that there’s a reaction like that to come back to the stadium for the international matches.”
Gwinn went on to praise the atmosphere in the German camp and said there is a lot of energy around the team.
The midfielder highlighted the return of many important players, such as Dzsenifer Marozsan, who missed previous camps with injuries.
However, a few are still not ready for the upcoming match. Manager Voss-Tecklenburg confirmed that Linda Dallmann and Maxi Rall will not feature against Portugal. Both players recently tested positive for Covid-19.
“It had an impact on them to be out with Covid for some time”, admitted the German coach. “They won’t play a role because we are responsible.”
The World Cup qualifier between Germany and Portugal kicks off at 16:00 CET.