Germany can enhance their excellent recent record against Italy on Tuesday night.
Italy v Germany – Tuesday, 19:45
This game sees a repeat of the Euro 2016 quarter-final in which Germany beat Italy on penalties. Since then, both sides have performed strongly: Italy have lost just one of their last five, and Germany have a perfect record since elimination by the French in the semi-finals of the Euros. This is a storied rivalry, and with both teams coming off big wins over low-ranking teams in World Cup qualification matches this weekend, both managers will be keen to show what their sides can really do.
Germany’s record since Euro 2016 has been outstanding. Their 8-0 demolition of San Marino (which saw a hat-trick on debut from former Gunner Serge Gnabry) was their fifth win to nil in a row, and they have a combined scoreline of 18-0 across those matches. They are, however, missing some key players in Neuer, Boateng and Özil, and these absences will be felt more keenly against Italy than they were against minnows San Marino. However, Italy have looked much less assured than Germany over the same period, losing to France in September and relying on a late brace from Ciro Immobile to squeak past Macedonia last month. Barzagli, Chiellini, Marchisio and Gabbiadini are all out injured.
Italy have won only one of their last five against Germany, and given the disparity in form, we’re going to go for Germany to win despite their missing stars, as their squad is one of far greater depth than Italy’s.