After defeat to Chile on Friday, England will be hoping for a more positive result when they take on Germany at Wembley on Tuesday (8pm GMT, live on ITV1).
Friday’s loss was England’s first this year, ending a 10-match unbeaten run made up of six victories and four draws. It was the first match of their preparations for next year’s World Cup and a result that dampened expectations raised by good performances in the last two qualifiers.
England had a decent number of efforts on target in the first half, but were also opened up defensively and could have been more than one down at the break had their opponents been more clinical in front of goal. Chile controlled possession in a disjointed second half, broken up by numerous substitutions, and added a second goal in stoppage time.
Roy Hodgson (pictured) was quick to brand the match a “learning experience” in his post-match interviews and, indeed, will have gleaned more about his team and squad options from the defeat than he would have from a comfortable victory over lesser opponents. As Frank Lampard put it: “We are not on the moon and we are not terrible – we are somewhere in between.”
Southampton’s Adam Lallana was the standout of the debutants, providing a creative spark while also working hard out of possession. His club mate Jay Rodriguez struggled to get into the game, while goalkeeper Fraser Forster made a couple of decent saves but was less impressive with his distribution under pressure from an energetic Chile side.
Hodgson is likely to welcome Joe Hart, Phil Jagielka, Andros Townsend and Daniel Sturridge back into his starting lineup on Tuesday after resting them against Chile. Steven Gerrard could also feature if he is able to overcome the hip injury that kept him out of that match. Danny Welbeck, Kyle Walker, Phil Jones and Michael Carrick all miss out.
Germany come into Tuesday’s match on the back of a 1-1 draw away to Italy on Friday. They have lost just one of the 11 internationals they have played this year, winning eight and drawing two, and are rightfully considered one of favourites for next year’s World Cup.
Under the command of Joachim Low, Germany have been and continue to be one of the most watchable teams in international football, playing a dynamic, counter-attacking style reminiscent of that practiced by the country’s club sides Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Yet for all the plaudits they have gained, silverware has been less forthcoming.
Low has thrice suffered semi-final heartbreak with the national team, first as assistant to Jurgen Klinsmann at the 2006 World Cup and then as head coach himself at World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012. He went one better, as head coach, at Euro 2008, but lost in the final to Spain, the country also responsible for the World Cup semi-final defeat two years later.
These disappointments have seen Low’s team selections take on a more creative bent as he seeks options to overcome opponents who set up to nullify the normal strengths of his side. There have been experiments with three at the back, two inside forwards and the use of a False Nine – a role played to good effect by Mario Goetze in last Friday’s draw with Italy.
Low also has some defensive concerns to deal with, having seen his side concede three or more times in matches against the United States, Paraguay and Sweden during 2013. Germany also let a four goal lead slip at home to Sweden in an October 2012 qualifier. They looked more solid on Friday, albeit at the expense of attacking contributions from their full-backs.
Low has confirmed that key players Manuel Neuer, Philip Lahm and Mesut Ozil will be rested on Tuesday. Sami Khedira will be out of action for six months after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the draw with Italy, while fellow midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger pulled out of the squad to undergo ankle surgery.
England vs Germany Betting Tips Verdict
These countries last met in the second round of the 2010 World Cup, when a devastating display of incisive counter-attacking football saw Germany take a commanding 4-1 victory. Germany have won on each of their last two visits to Wembley, but the overall historical record is tied, with five wins apiece and two draws in 12 matches.
The resting of some of Germany’s key players, combined with the reintroduction of some of England’s regulars, should go some way towards evening up a contest pitched in favour of the visitors. England will, nevertheless, be in for a very tough match and it is still the Germans who should be considered favourites for victory.
- Back Germany to win @ best odds of 7/5 with BetVictor or William Hill.
- Friday’s draw with Italy was the first Germany match this year to feature less than three goals. With a potent attack and shaky defence, their matches in 2013 have averaged 4.45 goals and there is little reason to suggest that this game will be any different. Bet on over 2.5 goals @ 5/6 with BetVictor (Update: best odds are now 4/5, still with BetVictor).