Georgia vs Germany on March 29 will be a massive test for Georgia’s new management crew lead by Kakhaber Tskhadadze. The two countries have only met three times since Georgia gained its independence in 1991. Germany has won all three previous encounters, two of which took place during the 1996 European Championship qualification stage.
Those three matches are not Germany’s only connection to Georgia, as there is a long tradition of Georgians playing in Germany. Georgia’s current national team coach Kakhaber Tskhadadze, for example, played four seasons (from 1992 to 1996) for Eintracht Frankfurt. The former Eintracht Frankfurt and Manchester City player Tskhadadze took over from Temuri Ketsbaia in December 2014, after having successfully coached in neighbouring Azerbaijan where he won the league championship with Inter Baku in 2009/10.
There are no current Bundesliga players on the squad that will face Germany. This does not, however, mean that the squad will be deprived of talent. Some noteworthy players include the defender Saba Kverkvelia who was ranked 19th in Futbolgrad’s FGT30 this January. Other noteworthy players include midfielder Jano Ananidze from Spartak Moscow, and Levan Mchedlidze from Serie A club Empoli, who recently made headlines for scoring within seconds after being brought on against Sassuolo in what was his first goal in this year’s Serie A.
Germany has had a slow start to their Euro 2016 qualification campaign, which saw them lose to Poland, and then draw against Ireland. On Monday Levan Kenia stated to Germany’s Bild: “that since the World Cup Germany is on shaky ground, and a result [for Georgia] may be possible.” Nevertheless, Georgia will need to be in top form, as Germany’s coach Joachim Löw will have a full squad of players available to him for the first time since lifting the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro last June. Furthermore, long injured Holger Badstuber from Bayern Munich, Ilkay Gündogan, and Marco Reus from Borussia Dortmund will join the World Cup winners on the pitch.
Hence, with the game being a must win for Germany as they do not want to drop any more points in the qualification stage, and with a healthy squad at Joachim Löw’s disposal, getting a result might be a tough ask for this Georgian squad. As the track record of Georgia’s national team is bleak against Die Nationalmannschaft, players should perhaps look elsewhere for inspiration. After all Georgia’s biggest footballing triumph came in 1981 against a German team in Germany when Dinamo Tbilisi defeated FC Carl Zeiss Jena in Düsseldorf 2:1 to win the now defunct UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup competition.
By Manuel Veth–