Germany have been brilliant in the last couple of years, winning the 2014 World Cup and qualifying for Euro 2016 in style with some splendid performances. Germany, despite having lost to England and Slovakia of late, come into this competition as huge favourites, and have their eyes locked on three points as they prepare to face Ukraine on Sunday.
With stars like Thomas Muller, Mario Gotze, Toni Kross, it would take a special team to beat Germany in the competition. They have all their bases covered, with huge depth in the squad, which is always a must in such competitions. However, they will need to play some consistent football for the next four weeks if they are to clinch their fourth European title.
As of now, they need to take one at a time, and concentrate on playing some good football in their opening match against Ukraine. This is a historic match for both the teams as Germany will face Ukraine for the first time in a major competition and will be eager to shine in their first Euro 2016 encounter.
Germany, who go into this match as a favourite, will be keen to maintain their unbeaten streak against Ukraine.
The best thing about this present team is their adaptability as has been witnessed in the past. They are comfortable with three defenders in the back as well and are open for a change in formation during a game if it does not work. Manager Joachim Low is pleased with such flexibility in his side.
"Until 2014, we basically always played in the same formation and with the same system. But in the past two years we have developed further. It's no problem any more for the team to start with a back three or with just two central defenders, and then to switch during a game. That's very important," UEFA's official website quoted Low as saying.
But their main strength lies in their offencive unit, which comprises world-class players. Germany will be looking for goals from Gotze, Muller and Mario Gomez.
Talking about the offencive unit, Ukraine are no slouch either, and will take an inch if Germany are slack at the back or lose possession in dangerous areas. Ukraine are a dangerous counter-attacking side, and with players like Andriy Yarmolenko and Konoplyanka, the duo can trouble the German defenders.
Konoplyanka will be keen to use his burst of pace against Germany, and Low is aware about the threat Ukraine possess.
"Ukraine are very physical and have quick players on the wings, who are very dangerous when it comes to counterattacks. They can go full speed for 90 minutes. But if we do what we are capable of and are careful in possession, then we are capable of beating Ukraine," Low said.
Ukraine advanced to the Euro 2016 group stages after a quality performance against Slovenia in the playoffs, but they will have to play their best football in order to move to the future rounds of Euro 2016. Poland and Northern Ireland are the other two teams in the group.
A good performance against Germany will give them immense confidence ahead of their other fixtures in the group. For that they need all their eleven players to gel as a unit and stop Germany attacking from all sides.
Mykhallo Fomenko, Ukraine manager, knows the tough job ahead of his team on Sunday.
"Every process is ongoing and every team is developing. Germany are no different, even if they are world champions. Their victory in Brazil is history. They'll be ambitious – they haven't won a European title for a long time, so they'll be eager to put that right in France. Everybody in our camp understands what a hard game this will be," Fomenko said.
With Germany as firm favourites, Ukraine should be content even if they manage to get a point from the match.
Where to watch live
Germany vs Ukraine is scheduled for a 8 p.m. BST (12:30 a.m. IST, 3 p.m. EST) start. TV coverage and Live treaming options for Euro 2016 are given below.
India: TV: Sony Six/HD and Sony ESPN/HD. Live Streaming: Sonyliv.
Germany: TV: ORF.
Ukraine: TV: Belarus TV
France: TV: Bein Sports 1. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.
USA: TV: ESPN. Live Streaming: Watch ESPN.
Canada: TV: TSN and RDS. Live Streaming: TSN TV.
Australia: TV: Bein Sports and SBS One. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.
Latin America: TV: DirecTV.
China and Hong Kong: TV: CCTV and LeTV.
Thailand: TV: Channel 3.
Singapore: TV: Eleven Singapore and Singtel. Live Streaming: Singtel Go.
Malaysia: TV: Astro.
Middle East and North Africa: TV: Bein Sports Max. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.
South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa: TV: SuperSport 3. Live Streaming: SuperSport