Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 8/11
After being held to a 0-0 draw against England on Friday night, Joachim Löw’s World Cup winning German side will be hoping to register a morale-boosting performance. Die Mannschaft will welcome Euro 2016 runners-up France to the RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne.
On Friday night, Joachim Löw’s usually ruthless German side were unable to overcome an inexperienced England side that handed debuts to five uncapped players. Although Germany will rue their missed opportunities, Löw’s side lacked that bite that saw them claim the World Cup in 2014. The German’s 0-0 draw with The Three Lions ended a seven-match winning run.
However, the Germans rightfully stand at the top of the FIFA world rankings and are almost universally regarded as the best team on the planet. Since being eliminated from Euro 2016, coincidentally by the French, Germany are yet to lose a single match. With a squad filled with World Cup winners’ and international stars, it’s no surprise that the Germans enter Tuesday’s friendly with an eye-catching record in the final third.
In their last six international games, Die Mannschaft have managed to find the back of the net 21 times, including victories over both Mexico and Chile. Defensively, the German’s have been susceptible this year though and the French will be desperate to capitalize on a back four that will be missing the likes of Jerome Boateng. Although Löw’s side have not lost in their 13 appearances in 2017, Germany have conceded at least one goal in nine of those contests. Australia, Azerbaijan, and Northern Ireland are all sides who have managed to breach the German backline.
As expected for back-to-back international friendlies, Joachim Löw is expected to make a string of changes to the side that drew 0-0 with England four days ago. One of the most notable names set to be recalled to Die Mannschaft starting XI is Borussia Dortmund star Mario Gotze, this will be the former Munich man’s first cap in 12 months. Along with Gotze, Bayer Leverkusen shot-stopper Bernd Leno will replace Marc-Andre ter Stegan in goal. There will also be a recall for midfielder Sami Khedira who will be looking to make his 72nd cap.
Germany will, however, be unable to call upon Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng who is still suffering from a muscle strain and has returned to the German capital to receive further treatment.
Currently ranked seventh in the Fifa international rankings, Didier Deschamps’s French side are a team still looking to put their Euro 2016 heartbreak behind them. After reaching the final in front of their home audience, Les Bleus were beaten 1-0 in the final to underdogs Portugal.
Like their visitors on Tuesday night, France will enter the match in relatively high spirits. Unbeaten in their last six appearances, France finished top of Group A and were able to gain automatic qualification for next summers’ World Cup finals in Russia. Deschamp will also be traveling to Cologne knowing that he has the firepower to cause Germany’s defense some real problems. At his disposal, the French boss will be able to call upon the likes of Alexandre Lacazette, Antoine Griezmann, Anthony Martial and Kyliann Mbappe.
For France though, traveling away from Paris has almost become a rarity for the boys in blue. Since the turn of the year, France have made 13 international appearances, but, only three of them have seen them playing away from Stade de France. Unsurprisingly, with a star-studded attacking line-up, the French have been able to score in seven of their last eight matches, including a 2-0 win against a resilient Wales side last Friday.
Much like the German’s, Didier Deschamps will be looking to rotate his squad and give a number of stars the opportunity to shine in preparation for next years finals. Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe both look set to lead the French attack from the start on Tuesday night.
There could also be several players that German fans know very well lining up against their side in Cologne. Bayern Munich duo of Kingsley Coman and Corentin Tolisso both started France’s win over Wales and will be hopeful of being given another chance from the start. While Stuttgart’s Benjamin Pavard who was a second-half substitute last weekend looks to be given a chance in France’s XI this time out.
The only two notable absentees in Deschamps side will be both Paul Pogba and Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane who both miss out due to recovering muscle injuries.
Key Factors to Consider
- Germany won all ten qualifying games in reaching the 2018 FIFA World Cup, becoming only the second team (after Spain in 2010) to achieve a 100% qualifying record en route to the finals.
- France have won four, drawn one, and lost two of their last seven meetings with Germany.
- Germany have scored in 100% of their home matches since Euro 2016, averaging 3.7 goals per game.
- Both sides are unbeaten in their last six appearances
- Germany currently sit top of the Fifa world rankings, with France in seventh position
In a battle of two European heavyweights, on paper, it has all the makings of a game that should promise goals at both ends of the pitch. Although the German’s have proven time and time again that they’re ruthless in the final third, last Friday’s draw with England highlighted that the defending World Cup winners do have some defensive issues that France’s attacking stars will look to take advantage of. A bet of both teams to find the net at least once seems like the most logical outcome in Cologne.
Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 8/11
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