(L-R) Germany's defender Marcel Halstenberg, forward Timo Werner, defender Robin Gosens, midfielder Kai Havertz, midfielder Joshua Kimmich and defender Robin Koch warm up during an training session at the team's base at the Adi Dassler stadium in Herzogenaurach, Germany, on Tuesday.
(L-R) Germany's defender Marcel Halstenberg, forward Timo Werner, defender Robin Gosens, midfielder Kai Havertz, midfielder Joshua Kimmich and defender Robin Koch warm up during an training session at the team's base at the Adi Dassler stadium in Herzogenaurach, Germany, on Tuesday.
AFP

Munich: Both Germany and Hungary are trying avoid early elimination from the European Championship.

The Hungarians need to win when the teams meet on Wednesday, the Germans don't.

The match will take place following a request to light the stadium in rainbow colors to protest what the Munich city council said was the homophobic and transphobic legislation of the Hungarian government.

UEFA turned down the council's application. It previously gave the go-ahead for Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to continue wearing a captain's armband with the rainbow colors considering that it was promoting a good cause, i.e. diversity.

It will be the first competitive match between Germany and Hungary since the Miracle of Bern in the 1954 World Cup final, when the West German team came from behind to defeat a Hungarian side considered to be the best in the world 3-2.

Hungary coach Marco Rossi's current team can't be compared to the Mighty Magyars of yesteryear, but it can still reach the round of 16 after defender Attila Fiola scored in a 1-1 draw with World Cup champion France.

Hungary lost to Portugal 3-0 in its opening game. Germany bounced back from its opening loss to France with a 4-2 win over Portugal.

France leads Group F with four points ahead of its final group game against Portugal. Both Portugal and Germany have three points, and Hungary has one.

"We have by far the most difficult group and of course Hungary is part of that," Germany midfielder Leon Goretzka said. “If you look at the two games, they produced a remarkable performance against Portugal. They defended very, very well for a really long time, playing with a lot of passion, as it has to be.”

Goretzka is likely to make his first start amid injury worries for Germany coach Joachim Löw.

Influential forward Thomas Müller is doubtful with a knee injury sustained in the win over Portugal and defender Mats Hummels had a tendon problem in his knee. Both were recalled to the squad specifically for the tournament because of their experience and they've had a major impact.

Other players with minor injuries, Ilkay Gündogan, Toni Kroos and Robin Gosens, took part in Tuesday's final training session, when Müller and right back Lukas Klostermann were the only players missing.

Whoever Löw opts for will have to contend with a well-drilled defense.

"We will watch how they defended in the first two games and find solutions," Goretzka said.

"Our clear goal is to win the game. Then we don't need to start looking at anything like other group games or I don't know what. We just want to win our game and continue this positive trend that we started against Portugal."

Hungary will have to do without a full stadium of support for the first time. Both its previous games took place in Budapest, the only venue at the tournament to allow full capacity.

"That we're playing away is an extra motivation,” Hungary midfielder Ádám Nagy told broadcaster M4 Sport. “It's obviously great to play at home, but it also provides a great feeling and a boost when you walk out onto the pitch away from home, and the fans whistle us."

Hungary captain Ádám Szalai, who went off after receiving a blow to his head against France, has been cleared to play.

Spain set to bring in Busquets

Seville: Spain may summon its most experienced player for its most important match at the European Championship.

Sergio Busquets is set to return for the match against Slovakia on Wednesday, when La Roja faces the possibility of an embarrassing elimination in front of its fans.

Only victory for Spain will be enough to ensure a spot in the round of 16 at Euro 2020. A draw may be enough, but only if Poland doesn't defeat Sweden in the other Group E match. Both games will be played at the same time.

The 32-year-old Busquets, the only player left from Spain's World Cup-winning squad in 2010, didn't play in the team's first two matches after testing positive for the coronavirus.

The Barcelona midfielder had to go into isolation and only rejoined the squad on Friday. He did not dress for the game against Poland on Saturday.

Lewandowski looks to find a way past Sweden at Euro 2020

St Peterburg: Robert Lewandowski is facing another early exit from a major international soccer tournament.

Unless, that is, Poland can find a way past one of the tightest defenses at the European Championship.

Beating Sweden is Poland's only route to the knockout stage of Euro 2020, and that's something no team has managed in seven games in 2021.

Where there is Lewandowski, though, there is hope for Poland.

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