Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Prediction: Germany vs Iceland

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions, World Cup 24 Mar 2021

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Verdict: Germany win to nil

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: Unibet

Desperate to get off to a routine start in midweek, Germany will welcome Iceland to The Schauinsland-Reisen-Arena in Duisburg on Thursday night.

Germany

Starting with the hosts, with it announced earlier in the month that long-term boss Joachim Löw will be stepping down after this year’s delayed European Championships, Germany will be desperate to end his 15-year tenure with a flurry. While the former world champions might be seen as a landslide pick to secure a route out of Group J and book an automatic spot to the 2022 World Cup Finals, they were last seen back in November putting in what was a woeful display on foreign soil. In a performance that was billed as one of their worst in Löw’s tenure, Germany were hit with a stunning 6-0 drumming away at Spain when signing off their Nations League campaign. Unable to book their spot in the semi-finals of last year’s tournament, it should be noted that Thursday’s hosts have managed to record just a trio of wins in their last eight matchups across all formats.

Team News

Despite initially being called up to Germany’s squad, Toni Kroos has had to withdraw due to injury and has returned to Real Madrid.

The defensive duo of Niklas Sule and Robin Gosens have already been ruled out via injury and will not feature on Thursday night.

Iceland

As for the visitors, while Iceland might be seen as the standout contender to clinch second spot in Group J as they open their qualifying campaign in midweek, The Blues are in the midst of what has been a real crisis. While they might have elected to turn to new boss Arnar Viðarsson last year, ‘Our Boys’ endured a nightmare campaign during the Nations League. Last seen getting hit with what turned into a 4-0 drumming against England at Wembley back in November, Iceland lost each of their six matchups in last year’s tournament and come under real scrutiny. Also failing to book their spot at this summer’s European Championships after a 2-1 defeat against Hungary in their play-off showdown, their former midfielder has seen his squad lose each of their last five matchups across all formats. Losing each of their last four away fixtures by an aggregate score of 13-2, there is no doubt Iceland should face a stern test in midweek.

Team News

Iceland have already confirmed that skipper and Everton star Gylfi Sigurdsson will not feature in their March fixtures.

In another hit for The Blues, Emil Hallfredsson will miss out through injury, along with forward Alfred Finnbogason.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides last faced off back in 2003, Germany picked up a 3-0 victory on home soil.
    • Thursday’s hosts were last seen back in November when signing off their Nations League campaign with a 6-0 defeat against Spain.
    • Including a 4-0 defeat against England last time out, Iceland have lost each of their last five matchups across all formats.
    • Iceland have also lost each of their last four away fixtures by an aggregate score of 13-2.
    • Three of Germany’s last four matchups on home soil finished with over 3.5 goals.

    Conclusion

    After enduring that woeful 6-0 defeat against Spain back in November, there is no doubt that Germany will be desperately seeking an immediate response. With it announced that long-term boss Joachim Löw will be stepping down after this year’s European Championships, the former world champions will be looking to avoid a real banana skin on Thursday night. Although The Whites might have gained a reputation for their inconsistencies, they should be smelling a golden chance on home soil. With Iceland suffering nothing short of a disastrous campaign in last year’s Nations League, they do have the feel of a squad in crisis. Losing each of their last five matchups across all formats and showing a string of issues on foreign soil, we’re backing Germany to pick up a much-needed victory in Duisburg.

    Verdict: Germany win to nil

    Best Odds: 7/10

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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