Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Prediction: Germany vs Saudi Arabia

Verdict: Over 4.5 goals

Best Odds: 2/1

Bookmaker: 888sport

Defending World champions Germany will be looking to bounce back from a surprising defeat to Austria last week and record a morale-boosting victory in their final prep game ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.  

Germany

Die Mannschaft suffered a stunning defeat at the hands of Austria who came from a goal down to bea their neighbours 2-1 on Saturday. Joachim Low got back to the drawing board and made some cuts days after to announce his final 23-man World Cup squad which came as a bit of a surprise itself.

Germany boss decided to omit Bernd Leno, Jonathan Tah, Nils Petersen and most prominently Leroy Sane from his final list of travellers to Russia. Sane and Petersen were both given starting roles against Austria but apparently failed to persuade Low they could be trusted heading into the World Cup. The forthcoming clash against Saudi Arabia will be the last check for Germany and it is expected that Joachim Low will line up his strongest side. Die Mannschaft have a perfect record against the Saudi Arabia team. They won each of the three meetings with an aggregate score 17-0 and the match in Leverkusen will be a fine opportunity to record another morale-boosting high-margin win.

Team News

Jerome Boateng is still working his way back from an injury and could be rested for the forthcoming clash.

Manuel Neuer is set for another 90 minutes of action after being given all clear, whereas Toni Kroos could be given a limited role having only joined the team on Sunday. Mesut Ozil is out with a knee problem.

Saudi Arabia

Three games against respectable sides such as Italy, Peru and now Germany are valuable in terms of gaining experience but could end up having a demoralizing effect of Saudi Arabia players who have already lost two of their three warm-up matches ahead of the World Cup.

Saudi Arabia have been given a privilege to open the World Cup, against Russia on 14 June, whereas the Green Falcons will also be locking horns with Uruguay and Egypt in Group A. Well aware of their stature and reputation against the more illustrious side, Saudi Arabia should head into the World Cup without pressure, which could be their biggest advantage. All eyes will be peeled towards Nawaf Al-Abed who was his country’s top scorer during the qualifications with five goals in nine games. Saudi Arabia boss Juan Antonio Pizzi shuffled his deck a bit during the last two friendlies against Italy and Peru, but is now expected to field the strongest side possible.

Team News

Saudi Arabia top scorer from the qualifiers NAwaf Al-Abed is expected to lead hte line in attack, supported by Al Abed and Al Shehri on the wings.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Germany have yet to lose to Saudi Arabia
  • Die Mannschaft boast a 17-0 goal difference from their last three matches vs Saudi Arabia
  • Manchester City star Leroy Sane has been omitted from the German final WC squad
  • Saudi Arabia changed six managers in last five years
  • Green Falcons are heading towards their fifth World Cup participation

Conclusion

Germany suffered a huge blow in Austria last time out and will be keen to make amends for the surprising 2-1 defeat with a compelling win over Saudi Arabia. Die Mannschaft have thus far netted 17 times against the Green Falcons and have yet to concede which leads us to believe this will again be a high-scoring affair.

Verdict: Over 4.5 goals

Best Odds: 2/1

Bookmaker: 888sport

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