Since reunification took place in 1990, the Germany national team has visited Wembley Stadium five times, winning on each and every occasion. Gareth Southgate couldn’t have chosen tougher opposition to kick off England’s build-up to next summer’s World Cup Finals.
How will the Three Lions fare in this testing friendly? Football odds expert Adrian Clarke previews the game…
Let’s hope the real thing goes better than the build-up.
Gareth Southgate’s best-laid plans for a terrific, but potentially troublesome test have been ruined by the withdrawals of key Spurs trio Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Harry Winks, along with the likely absence of Jordan Henderson too.
Having brutally omitted Jack Wilshere, Daniel Sturridge and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from his original squad – and publicly explaining his reasons for doing so – the England gaffer managed to box himself into a corner that’s now too embarrassing to wriggle out of.
That’s the only logical reason I can see anyway, that accounts for his decision to call on Jake Livermore and Michael Keane instead of the aforementioned threesome.
— England (@England) November 6, 2017
Having played the role of tough guy, the term ‘cutting off his nose to spite his face,’ immediately springs to mind.
There’s a match for Southgate’s England to get stuck into though, and its set to be a serious examination.
Unbeaten since their Euro 2016 exit to France, Joachim Low’s star-studded Germans have won 16 and drawn three of their subsequent outings.
During that stellar run, they’ve scored 59 goals at a rate of over three per game; and it should be noted they are a generous 17/4 with Grosvenor to net over 2.5 goals at Wembley.
By way of comparison, England’s record since losing to Iceland at the Euros reads; won eight, drawn three, lost two, with a modest goal return of 1.69 a match.
All of a sudden the 2/1 offered for a home win looks a little skinny.
While England have tended to raise their game against the big boys without beating them (their last decent scalp was a 1-0 win against ten-man Portugal 17 months ago) they do have speed in abundance.
I’d expect Jamie Vardy to be handed the 9 shirt for this one (12/5 to score) with Marcus Rashford (29/10) forming the type of rapid all-out pace attack that Joe Root and co could do with during The Ashes Down Under this winter.
If the Three Lions can withstand inevitable German pressure, and then strike clinically on the counter, they might just make a game of it beneath the arch.
We’re led to believe Southgate wants to work on new 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 formations ahead of the World Cup, and given the players at his disposal, I think that’s a smart idea.
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) November 7, 2017
It’s time for the England boss to work on his first choice team and shape, without too many unnecessary experiments.
Nailing down a formula that suits his players, and perfecting it, must be Southgate’s priority.
Low’s side will pose a lot of questions. With most of his household names fit and available, well supplemented by the outstanding Leon Goretzka, Sandro Wagner and Timo Werner in recent times, they have successfully managed to build a ‘club side’ feel and mentality.
Boasting a lovely blend of youth and experience, Germany’s settled squad and philosophy gives them a great chance of retaining their world crown next summer.
England are improving slowly and have some excellent kids coming through, but without Kane and Alli I just can’t see them winning this encounter.
They are the game-changers, and without their talent, this side looks dangerously average.
England should use this contest as a learning experience. Beating a high-quality team that’s much further down the road than they are is too much to expect.
*Odds are subject to change. Check the most up-to-date odds on Grosvenor Sport.