England’s World Cup preparations got off to a poor start on Friday night as they suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Chile.
Now they must face Germany in another friendly at Wembley. Hodgson may well be able to call upon his captain Steven Gerrard, who was injured for the Chile match. Daniel Sturridge and Kyle Walker are back in contention, while Rickie Lambert faces a late fitness test. Phil Jones will miss the game with a groin injury.
Germany have omitted the likes of Mesut Ozil, Phillip Lahm and Manuel Neuer in order to give some of their younger talents an opportunity to impress. Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira is out for the next six months and could miss the World Cup, after he tore cruciate knee ligament in the friendly against Italy.
Even at home against a Germany side that have left out some of their best players, England are the outsiders at 3.00, with the draw at 3.50 and Germany at 2.25.
Hodgson’s side should be more competitive with the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard back in the team. Also in their favour is the fact that they have won home friendlies against sides of the calibre of Spain, Italy and Brazil over the past couple of years.
However, it would be folly to bet against a German side that unlike England, will be genuine contenders to win the World Cup in Brazil. With Joachim Loew looking to experiment it might be prudent to err on the side of caution and back the Germans in the Draw No Bet market at 1.65.
Over/Under 2.5 Goals
The match against Chile highlighted England’s weakness in defence. The central defence pairing of Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka is not good enough for the top level of international football and the side lacks a dedicated holding player.
They look very vulnerable to players running at them from deep, which is bad news against a German side blessed with a generation of extremely talented attacking midfielders.
England do have goals in them though and with Sturridge returning to the side, they should look more dangerous than they did against Chile. Over 2.5 goals looks the call at 1.75, with unders available at 2.00.
Wayne Rooney is the favourite to find the net at 3.15 but against a good German defence it might be worth a punt on an outsider such as Andros Townsend at 5.50, or Steven Gerrard at 6.25.
For Germany, Mario Gotze, Max Kruse, Thomas Muller, Marco Reus and Andre Schurrle all start at 3.40. Of this group it is the Borussia Dortmund attacker Reus who can boast of the best goals to games ration, with seven goals from his 11 appearances.
England should be more focused against an opponent of Germany’s quality but the visitors have the talent to expose the frailties of Roy Hodgson’s side. A narrow German victory looks likely.
Score Prediction: England 1 Germany 2 (9.50)
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