Germany need to find their cutting edge

by

June 25, 2016
Coach Joachim Loew talks to his players during a training session of the German national team yesterday. Germany will face Slovakia in a Euro 2016 round of 16 match in Lille tomorrow.

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France (AP):

Germany need to find their cutting edge. More specifically Thomas Mueller does.

Though they are unbeaten in their three games so far at the European Championship, the world champions have struggled to convert their chances. That was particularly evident in their final group match against Northern Ireland when Germany had 26 efforts on goal but only converted one through Mario Gomez.

Still, the 1-0 victory was enough for the team to progress to the round of 16 at Euro 2016. Their reward, a seemingly straightforward match against Slovakia in the northern French city of Lille tomorrow.

more fluency

Coach Joachim Loew knows there's a problem and has juggled his front line during the tournament, introducing Gomez into the team for the match against Northern Ireland.

Though the rejigged attack created a lot more and showed more fluency, Loew said he's "not happy with the goal-conversion rate."

One puzzle is the performance of Mueller, who has yet to score in eight games over two European Championships. He arrived in France following his best season yet for Bayern Munich, scoring 32 goals and setting up 12 others, helping his team to win the Bundesliga and German Cup double.

"I'm not worried," Loew said of the forward who contributed nine of Germany's 24 goals in qualifying. "If he hadn't any chances, I'd have had to have a couple of more thoughts on how we'd solve it. But as soon as a forward has chances it's a good sign. He was close. I think it'll work out the next time."

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