Roy Hodgson's side warm up for Euro 2016 with a trip to Germany on Saturday night.
Germany have lost four times since lifting the World Cup two years ago as their form has been far less consistent than it was heading into Brazil. However, they still won their group in qualifying and head into this summer as the favourites. While their competitive record is superb there are more questions surrounding their form in friendlies as they’ve won just seven of 20 since the start of 2012 while losing the same amount.
Defensively they look unbalanced, with just one full-back named in their squad, but in midfield and going forward they are full of quality. However, with 13 goals conceded in their last seven friendlies the defence has certainly proven a weak point.
While the Premier League might be underperforming in Europe there are reasons for English fans to be increasingly positive, with a good balance in the squad and the emergence this season of the likes of Alli, Dier and Vardy and the impressive form of Harry Kane. Having won 13 of 16 games since the World Cup while keeping 11 clean sheets they have also created some momentum. Their only defeat in that run was a 2-0 loss in Spain in November but that is their only defeat in 10 friendlies since the start of 2014. While their defensive record was superb in qualifying they obviously weren’t playing teams of Germany’s calibre and Roy Hodgson has never masterminded an away clean sheet in a friendly in five attempts, though they did pick up score draws in Italy last year and in Brazil in 2013.
Germany have only won one of their last five home games against teams ranked in our top 20 and, further back, since 2008/09 have won just four of 13 such matches, 11 of which were friendlies. Defensively they’ve been poor in those matches but they also scored in all but one as 10 had at least three goals.
Joachim Löw’s poor record in friendlies makes Germany look too short at 1.67 and England look the value pick on the Asian Handicap +0.75 at 2.1. However, our best bet is for England to take advantage of the vulnerable home defence and that should contribute to both teams scoring.
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