Czech Republic vs Germany preview, betting tips and predictions: Joachim Löw’s men to march on in pursuit of title defence
Germany to win 3-0 and Thomas Müller to score first @ 28/1 with Sky Bet
Germany to win with -1 handicap @ 5/4 with Sky Bet
Germany to win to nil @ 11/8 with Sky Bet
Germany have always been a footballing powerhouse, but they are currently in the middle of yet another golden era. Their World Cup win in 2014 was their first in 24 years and despite falling short at Euro 2016, they will be well in the race in Russia next summer.
In qualifying, they have been imperious, winning six games out of six and conceding just once. Their goal difference is a mammoth plus 27 and they find themselves five points clear of Northern Ireland in second. The Czech Republic, who are four points further back in third, are likely to need a miracle to reach Russia now, having won just two of their six games, drawing three and losing once. Having conceded just five goals, they will be confident of keeping a good shape and frustrating the Germans on their own patch, but scoring nine goals means they have very little in attack. If the game is played mostly in their half as expected, they will likely succumb to the pressure from Germany’s amazing forward line and creative midfield. The earlier that happens, the uglier it could get for the hosts.
While Germany have an array of world class players to call upon, their main strength is their squad depth. In every position, they have at least three international quality players to challenge, and the creativity they possess in the likes of Mesut Özil and Julian Draxler, is the main reason they have blown so many teams away during qualification. There is little to suggest that won’t continue here.
Thomas Müller is a goal machine for Germany, particularly at tournaments, but he has not been able to repeat that form for Bayern Munich with his opportunities being reduced. Five goals in as many games in this competition, though, make him the main threat. Scoring three goals without reply is possible, and given they have only let in one throughout, both the scorecast and the win to nil tip could bring real value given the right stake.
Key battle: Patrik Schick vs Mats Hummels
Although it has already been said that the Czech Republic lack attacking prowess, they do have one secret weapon. Patrik Schick is a 21-year-old striker who recently joined Roma after an impressive campaign with Serie A rivals Sampdoria. He had interested Inter and Juventus, but should thrive at the Stadio Olimpico.
His pace, dynamism and finishing could cause Germany some problems in this game, especially if there is a lot of space on the counter attack. The likes of Emre Can will have to perform well to stop the supply, but Hummels will need to be alert to any threat if Schick gets a chance. Scoring 11 times for Sampdoria is impressive and big things are expected from the Czech striker.