Best Odds: 4/1
Germany are preparing to play host to Russia on Thursday night as Die Mannschaft look to get back to winning ways following back-to-back disappointments in the UEFA Nations League.
The summer of disappointment extended to autumn as well for Germany who continue to suffer at the international level. Joachim Low’s side managed a single win in last five matches which is well below the German level and the forthcoming friendly match against Russia is as good a chance as any for Die Mannschaft to gear up for the potentially crucial UEFA Nations League match against the Netherlands.
Having finished their World Cup title defence at the rock bottom of Group F – behind South Korea, Mexico and table-toppers Sweden – Germany struggled to gain ground in the UEFA Nations League as well and are currently bottom-placed with only one win after three games. If France beat the Dutch in Rotterdam on Friday, Low’s men can hope to avoid relegation from League A with a victory over the Netherlands in Gelsenkirchen next Monday. The Russia clash will be a perfect opportunity for Germany to set the mindset straight and get in the winning mood as Die Mannschaft have never lost to Russia before – winning five and drawing one of their six meetings to date.
Marco Reus returns to the fold after missing the October action with a knee injury but Mark Uth and Marc-Andre ter Stegen miss out due to a thigh problem and a shoulder complaint, respectively.
Jerome Boateng has been left out of the squad to work on his fitness, while Kai Havertz, Leon Goretzka and Antonio Rudiger come back in the squad after injury.
The Sbornaya also have an important Nations League test coming up and will use the Germany challenge as a precious warm-up. Stanislav Cherchesov has thus far led his team to the top of League B, in front of Turkey and Sweden and Russians will have a great chance to make the important leap forward in Sweden next Tuesday.
Without a loss in three Nations League matches and unbeaten since their World Cup quarter-finals eliminations at the hands of finalists Croatia, the Sbornaya will be looking to extend the positive run of results against an indisposed Germany. Russia have last locked horns with Germany at home soil in October 2009, as part of the 2010 World Cup qualifiers when Die Mannschaft’s all-time goal scorer Miroslav Klose netted the only goal. Plenty has changed since as Russia have enjoyed some good times lately and there is no doubt they will be up for a fight against former world champions. The only problem, however, remains the fact Cherchesov will have plenty of selection problems.
Mario Fernandes, Aleksandr Golovin and Denis Cheryshev lead the line of high-profile absentees for a trip to Germany.
Cherchesov has called up Sergey Petrov and Pavel Mogilevets, while the Russians will receive a boost in captain Artem Dzyuba who is expected to be back in the squad.
Key Factors to Consider
- Germany and Russia last met in 2009 in Moscow
- Die Mannschaft have yet to lose a single game against the Sbornaya
- Germany are sitting on the brink of Nations League A relegation
- Russia are unbeaten in their 4 consecutive games
- Germany won 1 of their last 5 matches since World Cup disappointment
Out-of-form Germany are locking horns with Russia in an international friendly that could be of great importance for both sides. The Sbornaya have yet to beat Germany in all six attempts and this forthcoming clash will get them as close to breaking the duck as possible.
Best Odds: 4/1
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