Romania VS Germany, Germany grab thress points

Posted Sun, 28 Mar 2021 09:14:43 GMT        

Match Time:3/29/2021 02:45 Monday  (GMT+8)

FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA) --  Romania   VS   Germany

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Romania and Germany will both aspire to record back-to-back wins in World Cup Qualifying Group J when they lock horns at the Arena Nationala in Bucharest this Sunday.  

 

The hosts scraped a dramatic 3-2 win over North Macedonia in their opening fixture, while Germany also chalked up a trio of goals in a routine 3-0 win over Iceland.  

 

Match preview

 

Having cruised into a 2-0 lead heading into the final 10 minutes, Romania seemed destined to secure a comfortable victory over North Macedonia on matchday one, but two strikes in a matter of minutes from Arijan Ademi and Alexander Trajkovski left Mirel Radoi's men dumbstruck in the dying embers of the match.  

 

However, Rangers playmaker Ianis Hagi channelled the spirit of his father Gheorghe to come off the bench and net the winner on the 85-minute mark, and after a thrilling conclusion to the match, Romania held on to kick off the road to Qatar in ideal fashion on their own turf.  

 

This week's hosts have now marched to victory in three of their last four games across all competitions - scoring at least three goals in each of those triumphs - although having conceded two to North Macedonia and three to Belarus recently, their defensive frailties are there to be exposed by Germany.  

 

One cannot write Iceland or North Macedonia off in the race for second spot after one match, but Romania will undoubtedly view a top-two finish as a realistic aim as they endeavour to end their torrid fortunes in qualification, as they are still waiting for the first Finals appearance since the turn of the millennium.  

 

Radoi's side have registered a respectable return of 13 wins from their last 22 matches on home soil - losing just four times in that run - but despite being buoyed by their goal-laden performance in midweek, the visit of Joachim Low's Germany could bring them crashing back down to earth before a trip to Armenia on the final day of the month.

 

Kai Havertz is struggling to make a name for himself at Chelsea, but he repaid Joachim Low's faith in him after just seven minutes against Iceland, by which point Germany were already a goal to the good thanks to Leon Goretzka's drive two minutes in.  

 

Ilkay Gundogan and his newfound prowess in front of goal put the icing on the cake in a dominant 3-0 win for Die Mannschaft on Thursday night, with that result seeing them rise to the summit with nine games left to play, and they will certainly hope to cement that position atop the rankings in their games to come. 

 

Low's team responded perfectly to their 6-0 defeat to Spain in midweek - a result which overshadowed an otherwise-solid 2020 for the four-time World Cup winners - and as is the case with their midweek opponents Romania, Germany have also strung together a three-game winning run on home soil across all competitions.  

 

However, home comforts are not on Germany's side this week, and Die Mannschaft only managed to win one of their three away games in 2020 - a narrow Nations League triumph in Ukraine back in October - and their most recent trip to Romania will invoke bad memories for their ardent supporters ahead of Sunday's battle.  

 

Indeed, Romania thrashed Germany 5-1 in a friendly back in 2004, but Die Mannschaft avenged that humiliating drubbing three years later, prevailing by three goals to one in a 2007 friendly during the earliest days of Low's stint in the hotseat.  

 

Romania World Cup Qualifying - Europe form: W 

Romania form (all competitions): LLWWDW 

Germany World Cup Qualifying - Europe form: W 

Germany form (all competitions): WDWWLW 

 

Team News

 

Romania's hero of the hour Hagi should certainly earn a starting role after his winner on Thursday, but Florin Tanase also found the back of the net on the night and will not relinquish his place easily.  

 

Parma starlet Valentin Mihaila also came off the bench to score and is pushing for inclusion on the left ahead of Florinel Coman, while Reading's George Puscas is battling with Claudiu Keseru to lead the line.  

 

Radoi will be reluctant to rotate too much for a game of this magnitude, so Nicolae Stanciu and Razvan Marin are set to man the engine room for the second time in three days.  

 

Germany lost Toni Kroos, Niklas Sule and Robin Gosens to injury before their victory over Iceland, and while the former has now returned to Real Madrid, the latter two remain major doubts for matchday two.  

 

Jonas Hofmann and Marcel Halstenberg have both been forced to quarantine after the former tested positive for coronavirus - with Halstenberg self-isolating after playing backgammon with his infected teammate - so Emre Can had to deputise at left-back in midweek and could do so again here.  

 

Low is expected to save the bulk of his changes for next week's visit of North Macedonia, so barring the possible inclusion of Timo Werner, the Germans will likely field an almost identical XI to that of Thursday's win.  

 

Romania possible starting lineup: 

 

Nita; Popescu, Chiriches, Burca, Bancu; Stanciu, Marin; Man, Hagi, Mihaila; Keseru  

 

Germany possible starting lineup: 

 

Neuer; Klostermann, Ginter, Rudiger, Can; Kimmich, Goretzka, Gundogan; Gnabry, Havertz, Sane    

 

Romania 1-3 Germany

 Romania VS Germany, Germany grab thress points