Best odds: 12/5
A large number of international friendlies will take place this weeks as teams prepare for the upcoming European championship in 10 days’ time. One of those will be the clash between Germany and Denmark set to take place on Wednesday evening at the Tivoli Stadion Tirol in Innsbruck, Austria.
Despite some underwhelming results in the recent past, most notably the World Cup qualifications defeat to North Macedonia in March this year, Germany undoubtedly remain one of the favourites for the upcoming tournament. Their team is full of quality from back to front, representing a good mixture of promising youth and experienced, proven winners.
Joachim Low’s team face a tough test right at the start – world champions France on June 15th, with clashes against title defenders Portugal and Hungary to come afterwards. On paper, their Group F seems arguably the toughest, and if they get through into the knockout stage, they could go all the way.
It’s rarely ever easy to guess how a coach will choose his lineup for a friendly match – these occasions are always used to test few things out and see if they work, but it’s worth noting that Low has added some exciting young names to his ranks, such as Bayern Munich’s 18-year-old attacking midfielder Jamal Musiala, as well as recalled some of the ‘old guard’ names like Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels.
It’s hardly needed to mention the likes of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Antonio Rudiger, who have all just helped Chelsea win their second-ever Champions League trophy, but they, like Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan, aren’t very likely to take part in this match having played the final on Saturday.
Denmark, led by Kasper Hjumland, are currently on a very good run of results, having won all three of their World Cup qualifiers so far. Unlike Germany, they can hardly be considered among the more serious contestants for the European crown, but the same arguably held ahead of the tournament in 1992 to which they were admitted only due to Yugoslavia being imposed with sanctions right before the start. They won the trophy, incidentally beating none other than Germany in the final.
At the time, it was Manchester United’s Peter Schmeichel who stood between the posts and the team was inspired mostly by the Laudrup brothers, Michael and Brian. This time around, the Danes will have Peter’s son Kasper guarding the net.
The Leicester City goalkeeper is not the only notable name playing for Denmark these days. Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen has also been called up, but like Werner, Havertz, Rudiger and Gundogan for Germany, he will probably be given a rest after the Champions League final.
On the other hand, Southampton defender Jannik Vestergaard, Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Barcelona forward Martin Braithwaite are all likely to take part, not to mention Serie A winner with Inter Milan, Christian Eriksen.
It should be an interesting contest, played with no pressure to produce a result for either side but with an urge to preserve legs as much as possible and avoid unnecessary injury issues. At full throttle, Germany would be the favourites, of course, but as it is, a draw is very likely.
Best odds: 12/5
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