After a year's break, Germany is back in the quarter-finals of the Ice Hockey World Cup. On Thursday, the team of coach Toni Söderholm will meet in Bratislava in the Czech Republic (20.15 / Sport1 and DAZN).
The self-confidence after the best preliminary round of a German team is great. The players believe in a coup like last time in 2010, when the semi-final was reached.
THE OPPONENT: Against the twelve-time world champion Germany is outsider – actually. This also applied against Finland on Tuesday, but Germany won 4: 2 and was also superior to two-thirds. The Czechs lost in their preliminary round only against the top favorite Russia. Star of the team is NHL striker Jakub Voracek of the Philadelphia Flyers.
THE STATISTICS: As so often against the top nations, this is a clear thing: Germany has lost 35 of the 44 World Cup matches so far. The last FIFA World Cup victory so far is twelve years ago. In Russia Germany won in the then still played second round 2: 0. Since then, there have been three World Cup duels with 5:17 goals from a German perspective.
THE STAFF: World goal keeper Philipp Grubauer needs a cream tag at the gate. The NHL keeper of the Colorado Avalanche was fit in time and played already strong in 4-2 against Finland. Moritz Seider is also making his comeback. The 18-year-old defender of the Adler Mannheim had injured himself a week ago in a 3-2 draw against Slovakia during a gangs check by Ladislav Nagy and has not played since.
THE SUPPORT: From home, the players received emotional encouragement. On Wednesday through its social media channels, the German Ice Hockey Federation published greetings from the families of players from Germany. Tenor: “We believe in you, you can do it.”
CAPTAIN MORITZ MÜLLER SAYS THAT: “I think we should now lay down this deep stacking as Germany. Why not go to the quarter-finals and say: we want the semi-finals! Otherwise you can not win such a game. Faith must be there first. »
THE PERSPECTIVE: If Germany loses, the tournament is over and the team flies home on Friday. The semi-finals will take place on Saturday in Bratislava, with the final on Sunday.