Why fearsome Germany's 8 Euro 2024 squad absentees sends Scotland a worrying message

Nagelsmann names his provisional squad – and it’s loaded with talent

Scotland need few reminders of the daunting task awaiting them on June 14 in Munich when they face tournament hosts Germany on the opening night of Euro 2024.

The Germans, as home nation, are one of the favourites to win the competition and after manager Julian Nagelsmann named his provisional squad, the men left off the list tell as big story as those on it. Germany have an embarrassment of riches to choose from. Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League hero Mats Hummels won’t be part of the defence, which has caused a stir, and neither will his club-mates Niklas Sule, Emre Can, Karim Adeyemi nor Julian Brandt. Remember, Dortmund are in the final of Europe’s blue-riband club event. Bayern Munich midfield general Leon Goretzka has failed to make it, as has forward speedster Serge Gnabry. Spurs loanee Timo Werner’s absence is less surprising, but the striker would walk into a number of other international squads.

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Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen are represented, and the rump of the domestic-based players come from the remaining teams that make up the top five: Bayern Munich, Stuttgart, RB Leipzig and Dortmund. In fact, there is not one player from a club from seventh downwards, while Real Madrid and Barcelona are represented. This is a fine collection of players.

Germany manager Julian Nagelsmann has unveiled his provisional squad for Euro 2024.Germany manager Julian Nagelsmann has unveiled his provisional squad for Euro 2024.
Germany manager Julian Nagelsmann has unveiled his provisional squad for Euro 2024.

Nagelsmann has selected 27 men so this squad can still be filed as provisional, with UEFA allowing 26 for when the tournament kicks off. The likelihood is that one of the four goalkeepers won’t be part of the main group. Marc-Andre ter Stegen, currently at Barcelona, is expected to pip Bayern Munich veteran Manuel Neuer to the gloves. It is between two uncapped stoppers in Stuttgart’s Alexander Nubel and TSG Hoffenheim’s Oliver Baumann for third choice.

In defence, Real Madrid’s Antonio Rudiger and Jonathan Tah, a mainstay of Bayern Leverkusen’s invincible season, are the stand-outs. Joining them are Waldermar Anton (Stuttgart), Benjamin Henrichs (RB Leipzig), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Robin Koch (Eintracht Frankfurt) Maximilia Mittelstadt (Stuttgart), David Raum (RB Leipzig) and Nico Schlotterbeck (Dortmund). Kimmich, one of the world’s best attacking right-backs, is a major threat to any opponent.

Leverkusen wonderkid Florian Wirtz is among a host of exciting midfielders, including uncapped Bayern Munich talent Alexander Pavlovic. The deep-lying playmaker would likely have made his international debut in March had tonsillitis not ruled him out of friendly matches. At the other end of the scale, experienced duo Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) and Ilkay Gundogan (Barcelona) have been picked alongside Robert Andrich (Leverkusen), dangerous attacking players Jamal Musiala and Leroy Sane (both Bayern Munich), Chris Fuhrich (Stuttgart) and Pascal Gross, who has been in excellent form at English Premier League outfit Brighton and Hove Albion.

Germany may not have a No 9 in the same ilk of Rudi Voller, Jurgen Klinsmann or Miroslav Klose but in Dortmund’s bustling striker Niclas Fullkrug and Arsenal’s in-form Kai Havertz, there is enough menace to keep Scotland’s centre-halves occupied. Uncapped Hoffenheim hitman Maximilian Beier, Denis Undav (Stuttgart) and veteran Bayern Munich player Thomas Muller make up the forward options.

The Germans play their two warm-up matches at the same time as Scotland – against Ukraine at the Max-Morlock-Stadion in Nuremberg on June 3 and then Greece at Dortmund’s Borussia-Park on June 7. It will give Nagelsmann further opportunities to build on March’s morale-boosting wins over France and Netherlands, and could further emphasise the monstrous task awaiting Scotland – who name their own squad on Wednesday – next month.



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