Wednesday 22nd March. 7:45PM. ITV
One of the greatest rivalries in international football resumes on Wednesday night as England head to Dortmund to take on the current world champions. While it might only be a friendly, both teams will be eager to start the calendar year in style, and should provide plenty of entertainment at Signal Iduna Park.
Can Gareth Southgate start his permanent managerial role in style or will Joachim Low’s men be too strong? Either way, it’s gotta be a better evening of entertainment than watching Corrie.
Germany Out To Recover From Last Year’s Loss
Nationalelf last hosted the Three Lions just 12 months ago, and Low saw his side suffer a shock late defeat despite having been 2-0 up heading into the final 30 minutes in Berlin. A lot has happened since then, and the Germans won’t be wanting to make the same mistakes here – even if it isn’t a competitive fixture.
Germany have won five and drawn one since losing to France at Euro 2016, and are on track to enter next year’s World Cup as one of the favourites. This clash against England is a fantastic chance to test themselves against difficult opposition while also giving them a chance to potentially try out a few less experienced internationals, including Manchester City’s Leroy Sane.
The hosts are without goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, but have a ready replacement in Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Perhaps the biggest news for Germany, however, is that this will be Lukas Podolski’s final game before heading into international retirement.
Meanwhile, the in-form Julian Draxler will be hoping to get a start in Dortmund following a great start to life at PSG. Whatever XI Low opt for, though, the hosts will be full of confidence.
Southgate Straight In At The Deep End
After a successful stint as interim manager at the back end of 2016, Southgate begins 2017 as the full-time head coach. While England are on the pathway to recovery following a disastrous Euro 2016, the Three Lions couldn’t have picked a tougher test in their first game of the calendar year.
England have a pretty good record in Germany, however, winning their last three trips, including last year’s incredible fightback. Despite the fact that the hosts don’t take friendlies quite so seriously, though, the visitors will be huge underdogs for this one.
Skipper Wayne Rooney is out through a lack of form and fitness while further regulars Jordan Henderson and Harry Kane are missing too. That will pave the way for others to stake their claims, including the returning Jermain Defoe as well as nine players with under 10 caps.
The result isn’t overly important, although England would surely love a victory. However, the change of management means that the Three Lions are playing catch up as they look to build a squad capable of competing at Russia 2018. A big performance in Dortmund would go a long way to helping.
Germany v England Betting
The world champions are odds-on to win Wednesday’s showdown, being priced 3/4 with 888sport while England are 17/4. If you think the friendly will end in a draw, it can be backed at 14/5.
Patriotism aside, it’s hard to see anything other than a home win for Germany in Dortmund. Even without their goalkeeper, their squad looks several notches better than England’s. If they play to anything like their potential, it should be a relatively easy night for Low’s men.
In truth, they should be more than capable of winning by more than one goal. However, were going to give ourselves the chance of a refund by sticking to the Asian line instead of the 3-way handicap.
Germany have a wealth of attacking options, but Mario Gomez is probably the most likely source of goals. He grabbed one in last year’s defeat to England, and he could have every chance of going one better by opening the scoring here.
Given it’s a friendly, it’s well worth waiting for the team news first. If he starts, though, 9/2 is very decent value for the Wolfsburg striker.