They call it a friendly meeting but amicable is not the word to describe encounters between two of Europe’s greatest rivals England and Germany. Having both qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Three Lions and Die Mannschaft begin the final part of the preparations for the showpiece tournament in Russia.
It should not be taken as a potential alibi but Gareth Southgate’s hands are very much tied for the forthcoming clash against Germany. The England boss is faced with a couple of important absences and will have to experiment for the clash at Wembley.
Misery brings opportunity and there is a chance in every potential problem so Gareth Southgate will undoubtedly use this great occasion to field his fringe players and give them vital minutes on the pitch. The fans are rubbing their hands in anticipating over the prospect of seeing in-form striker Tammy Abraham given a chance to prove his worth together with his fellow uncapped teammates Joe Gomez and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Harry Kane, Harry Winks, Dele Ally from Tottenham together with City’s Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph are all missing out, whereas Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana are also unavailable.
A great number of injuries has forced Gareth Southgate to draft in another international newcomer in Burney’s Jack Cork, whereas Everton’s Michael Keane and WBA midfielder Jake Livermore are also joining up.
Someone did an interesting analysis and come up with not one or two but three different Germany squads that would boast high level of quality and would be considered serious contenders for World Cup in Russia.
Die Mannschaft are under an ongoing generation shift – a forced one rather than desired – which saw manager Joachim Loew introduce a number of fledging talents into the Germany first team. Having been eliminated prematurely from the Euro 2016, reigning world champions rolled up their sleeves in preparation for the 2018 World Cup determined to defend their title. As indicated before, Germany also have a number of injuries to worry about with Younes out with a knee problem, whereas Marco Reus, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer, Jeroma Boateng and Toni Kroos complete the list on injured first-team stars.
Kevin Trapp has a respiratory infection that will keep him out of contention, whereas Arsenal star midfielder Mesut Ozil is not in the squad.
In the meantime, Mario Gotze and Ilkay Gundogan are hoping for a much-needed run in the national team.
Germany won all ten qualifying games and have yet to be beaten by England away since 1975 which is more than enough to suggest that visitors should be taken as firm favourites. Die Mannschaft are a fierce side with a relentless team spirit that will hunt you down until the very last second of the match and Germany’s emerging side will be put to a proper test at Wembley.
Top pick: Germany 2.15 (15/13) @Unibet
Alternative pick 1: Both teams to score – yes 1.80 (4/5) @10Bet
Alternative pick 2: Over 2.5 goals 2.00 (1/1) @Betfair