Germany v England: Team news, predictions, stats & odds
March 22 2017, 19:37Football
March 22 2017, 19:37Football
Check out our match pack for Wednesday night's international friendly between Germany and England.
The game kicks off at 1945 GMT at the Westfalenstadion, live on ITV 1 HD.
International football - and particularly friendly international football - requires all previews to get their excuses in early, Dave Tickner writes. You know the drill: unpredictable line-ups yada yada yada, substitutions blah blah blah, keep stakes small.
At least, though, as with England’s clash with Spain last November, Wednesday night features a friendly worth getting your teeth into. Germany away is not a game that any England – or Germany – team will take lightly, and its significance is greater still as Gareth Southgate’s first game as full-time boss after two wins and two draws in his four games as interim manager.
A quick look at the two sides’ post-Euro records and an England squad missing Harry Kane and not including Andy Carroll, Danny Welbeck or Theo Walcott is to think low on goals.
The only goals England have conceded since the Iceland defeat were in the 89th and 96th minutes against Spain, while Germany have won five games to nil and drawn 0-0 against Italy since going out to hosts France at Euro 2016.
Both already look well placed for World Cup qualification, although Germany’s comfortable victories over the Czech Republic and Northern Ireland are perhaps more eye-catching than England’s sometimes stuttering efforts thus far.
Nevertheless, for both sides those recent drawn friendlies against Italy and Spain are perhaps the most relevant when looking at this game given the calibre of opposition and non-competitive status.
England – who, as they will in Dortmund, had to do without an injured Kane on that occasion – were hugely impressive before fading late on.
A draw here is certainly not to be dismissed at prices just shy of the 3/1 mark, while the defensive organisation of both sides means no goalscorer at double-figure quotes is worth a second glance for people who like their friendlies particularly entertaining.
A word of caution for that bet would be the absence of Germany’s formidable first-choice goalkeeper Manuel Neuer - Bernd Leno and Marc-Andre ter Stegen are set to play a half each in the Bayern Munich man’s absence.
But I’m going to put together England’s striker shortage and Germany’s missing first-choice goalkeeper, and throw in the eyebrow-raising fact that England have won their last three games against Germany in Germany and go for the Three Lions to find the net.
Specifically, Dele Alli to find the net. The Spurs man is 12/1 with bet365 to score the first goal and that just looks a fraction big given the absence of goalscorers in this England squad and Alli’s own prolific form.
Alli has scored 14 goals in his last 20 games, finding the back of the net in all four of his Spurs appearances since that horrendous red card in the Europa League against Gent.
The only Englishman with more Premier League goals than Alli this season is his absent team-mate Kane, with Sunday’s goal against Southampton taking the 20-year-old level with Jermain Defoe.
Alli’s Premier League goals this season have come at an impressive frequency of one every 155 minutes, and his all-competition total of 18 goals leaves even Defoe in his wake.
It’s true that Alli is likely to play in a slightly more withdrawn role for England than he does for Spurs, where since Christmas he has been operating chiefly as a true number 10 just behind Kane.
But he will still surely have licence for those late runs into the penalty area from midfield that have brought him so much success over the last two years. It would be foolish for England to do any different.
Alli has sometimes struggled to replicate his scintillating Spurs form on the international stage, but did mark his first start with the opening goal in a 2-0 win over France back in November 2015 and scored against Malta in one of his two England starts this season.
Another player to consider here is Adam Lallana at 16/1 – worth remembering that he converted an early penalty against Spain – but Alli’s form makes him the clear choice as England’s standout goal threat from behind the out-and-out strikers.
The 12/1 is a price that obviously has each-way appeal, but with goals expected to be at a premium and the clear possibility of Alli being among those players withdrawn in the usual flurry of second-half substitutes, we’ll go win only.
Joachim Low (Germany)
On England's potential: "Well, what you can really see is that England are a team in transit, as it were.
"Their coach has promised for them to play a more modern football, more possession-orientated.
"I watched a re-run of the game against Spain and that was a really strong performance.
"England have some fantastic individual players, very fast off the blocks, very pacy, prepared to take risks on the pitch.
"I think if there is one attribute that I would give is that it's a team in change, a team that is changing."
On his squad: "(Timo Werner is) a young and interesting player with good prospects, he is very variable and has been playing at a high level this season, and I am looking forward to welcoming him to our circle.
"It's great that Lukas (Podolski) will say goodbye in this fantastic setting, so he gets a worthy finish, and he deserves it.
"Games against England are absolute classics, in addition to the great fans in Dortmund I'm assuming that it will be very strong.
"Antonio (Rudiger) has fought his way, his physique is excellent again, his strength and dynamism are back and there is nothing to remind us of his injury."
Gareth Southgate (England)
On the future: "I guess what I want to do is have this discussion around where we want to go and the the realities of where we are. I always say being an island saved us in 1945, I'm not so sure it's helped us ever since.
"I think we've got to broaden the horizons. It's understandable, the lads see one league, they see Sky Sports News... they think we're the centre of the earth and we're not.
"That's what hit me (at the 2014 World Cup). I'm so used to watching the yellow ticker going round then I'm sat in Brazil and I'm not seeing us. It was quite a stark reality of where we are.
"Other countries are quite happy to say nice things to us and then they pack us off home at a certain stage and think 'God, we've got rid of them'. That's how it feels to me and I don't like it."
On Joe Hart: "Joe, as an example, has had a brilliant experience (in Italy).
"He's taken a hell of a lot from seeing another league, living abroad, broadened his horizons, recognising some of the things he had (at Manchester City) that he hasn't now got in terms of training facilities.
"I think he'll come back a more mature goalkeeper and a more mature person.
"I guess there's a national characteristic about that (not moving abroad) and the finance of our league isn't going to help that, which is the reality.
"But it would be interesting. We have some younger players doing it now, Lewis Baker's had a very good spell in Holland for example.
"Will it be common place? I don't know. Maybe lads will have to go away to play matches because opportunities are disappearing here."
On the behaviour of his players: "They have to have time to relax, unwind and have down-time. It would be crazy to lock lads away.
"But moving forward I am going to slightly throw that to the players. How do they see it? How do they want to be as a team? What do they want to achieve?
"If you are at your club, you train and go home and you can have a switch off, you can see your family. In the international environment that is different so you have to have time to clear your head.
"What they do and how they do that is a good discussion to have as what they can't have is the possibility of anything that will affect their performance. That is going to put pressure on them by being at the other end of the newspaper to the sport.
"My job as coach is to try to relieve that pressure so we don't want to put extra pressure on ourselves with things that can be avoided."
On Ben Woodburn: "I saw him at Liverpool a couple of weeks ago and made sure I gave him a nice ruffle of the hair!
"He has always been aware of an interest from England. But he was in Wales' system from very early and that is ongoing with so many players dual nationality now.
"Getting in first is often key which makes things complicated as you are never quite comfortable with calling really young players in. We don't really want to go to under-14 internationals as they are so far away - you don't even know if they are going to be a professional, let alone an international."
On Wayne Rooney: "We have this thing about 'an England captain', but really the captain is the person that is captain in the next game, isn't it?
"I've talked with Wayne and I think there's a chance he's fit for the weekend but the injury, coupled with the fact he's not had a lot of game time recently and others have, determined my decision.
"Always the danger in any sport with naming a 'captain' is selection. We have to look at Wayne as a number 10, which is his predominant role. In the last two games we've played Dele (Alli) there and we've played Adam Lallana there. Ross Barkley has been playing very well for his club.
"So there's competition. I can't dress that up any other way. There are some very good players and it's a battle to get in this squad.
"Wayne totally understands that. He doesn't have any expectations of being treated differently or treated in a special way."
On Luke Shaw: "Luke is the one that is short of that game time at the moment but it will hopefully boost how he feels about himself and I am sure there will be an opportunity for him to get on the field as well.
"We are conscious of that slightly muddying the message we have given more generally. But I wanted to let him know what we were thinking."
Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has been ruled out of Wednesday's friendly with England in Dortmund with a calf injury.
Neuer will miss the meeting with Gareth Southgate's side as well as the World Cup qualifier away to Azerbaijan on Sunday, the Germany Football Federation (DFB) announced.
The 30-year-old will instead remain with his club Bayern Munich.
Germany boss Joachim Low has called up uncapped Paris St Germain shot-stopper Kevin Trapp as a replacement for Neuer.
He joins Bayer Leverkusen's Bernd Leno and Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the squad.
Germany must also cope without Mesut Ozil, Julian Draxler and Mario Gomez.
Arsenal playmaker Ozil and Paris St Germain forward Draxler have both reported hamstring problems, while Wolfsburg striker Gomez has a groin injury.
West Ham winger Michail Antonio has withdrawn from the England squad for the games against Germany and Lithuania due to a hamstring injury.
A statement on the Hammers' website read: "Michail Antonio has been withdrawn from England's squad for their games against Germany and Lithuania next week after picking up a hamstring injury in Saturday's 3-2 loss against Leicester City."
Antonio was withdrawn from the squad after being assessed by both the Hammers' and the England medical teams and will remain at Rush Green during the international break."
No replacement was announced for Antonio, with Adam Lallana, Jesse Lingard, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Nathan Redmond and Raheem Sterling all providing options in wide areas.
Manchester United defender Phil Jones is out of the England squad after picking up an injury in training on Tuesday morning, but Gareth Southgate has no other fresh injury concerns.
Germany squad: Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (PSG), Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Benedikt Howedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Antonio Rudiger (Roma), Niklas Sule (Hoffenheim), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Sebastian Rudy (Hoffenheim), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Andre Schurrle (Borussia Dortmund), Lukas Podolski (Galatasaray), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Emre Can (Liverpool), Julian Weigl (Borussia Dortmund), Leroy Sane (Manchester City), Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig)
England squad: Fraser Forster (Southampton), Joe Hart (Torino, on loan from Manchester City), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Michael Keane (Burnley), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur), Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Ross Barkley (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Jake Livermore (West Bromwich Albion), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Nathan Redmond (Southampton), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton), Jermain Defoe (Sunderland), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
Germany haven’t lost back-to-back internationals against England since losing seven in a row between 1935 and 1966.
England came from 2-0 down the last time they met Germany in March 2016, winning 3-2 in Berlin. Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier both scored their first international goals in the match.
In that match, Germany scored with both of their shots on target against the Three Lions.
Germany have lost just one of 18 games in which they’ve played in Dortmund, losing to Italy in the 2006 World Cup (W15 D2).
England have lost only one of their last 16 away internationals, against Spain in November 2015 (W9 D6).
Germany have lost their last three home matches against England on home soil – 5-1 in 2001, 2-1 in 2008 and 3-2 in 2016. Each of those wins were masterminded by a different English manager (Eriksson, Capello, Hodgson).
England have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last seven games against Germany.
Joachim Loew’s side have gone 558 minutes without conceding an international goal. Antoine Griezmann was the last player to score against them in Euro 2016.
Adam Lallana has scored in each of his last three internationals for England.
Jermain Defoe last made an England appearance in November 2013 against Chile.
Germany are Sky Bet’s 3/4 favourites for the victory with England 18/5 shots, while the draw is priced at 11/4. Both nations are well odds-on to win their World Cup qualification groups but it is Germany who are considered 5/1 favourites to lift the trophy, with Gareth Southgate’s men up against odds of 18/1. Mario Gomez heads the first goalscorer betting at 7/2 in a market which offers few clues to England’s best alternative to Harry Kane, with Jamie Vardy, Jermain Defoe and Marcus Rashford all 8/1 to net first.
Germany in focus
Phil Jones out of England squad
Joachim Low sees England potential
Mesut Ozil out of England clash
Charlie Nicholas' predictions
Gareth Southgate outlines England ambition
Manuel Neuer ruled out for Germany
Jermain Defoe on his World Cup hopes
A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed.
Check out all of our available betting tips and previews of the forthcoming sporting action.
This week’s ante-post column focuses on the 2017/18 Premier League markets - where does the value lie?