Opening Half Could be Best Bet for Goals in Germany v England on Saturday nightPublished March 25, 2016
As far as International friendlies go, Germany v England is one that will always have a certain competitive edge to it and the game at the Olympiastadion in Berlin will be no different.
Germany go into Euro 2016 vying for favouritism with the host nation as they look to add the trophy to the World Cup they won in Brazil 2014. However, they were not terribly convincing in qualification for this summer’s tournament in France. They twice only narrowly beat Scotland, while the Republic of Ireland won four points off the Germans from their two games.
Having come through the Euro 2016 group stage as the only team with a 100% record, England restored some credibility after a fairly abysmal showing at World Cup 2014. True, the opposition was generally fairly modest, but away wins in Switzerland and Slovenia deserve respect.
The games against Germany and the Netherlands will provide Roy Hodgson with an opportunity to try other options should his captain and first-choice striker Wayne Rooney not be available for the finals in June, with Harry Kane looking the man most likely to secure a starting role in France.
Since losing to Uruguay in Brazil, England’s only defeat in 17 matches was the 2-0 friendly loss in Spain in November 2015. For their part, the Germans have lost on five occasions since lifting the World Cup. Germany has a tendency of raising their game when it really matters, so a home defeat here wouldn’t be a great surprise.
As with all international friendlies, the game could become very stop-start in the second-half as a result of numerous substitutions to placate clubs who don’t want their precious darlings overworked and risking potential injury (there were 10 substitutions in the November 2013 friendly). The urgency can often go out of games as a consequence and you can forget the idea of the referee allowing 30 seconds per substitution when it comes to added time too.
Taking that into account, looking to the first-half to provide the bulk of the goals could be the most sensible punt.