Germany v Finland, Wednesday 19:45, BT Sport 2
The World Champions return to action after they were beaten by hosts France in the semi-finals of the Euros, and their first assignment on the road to the 2018 World Cup sees them host Finland in a friendly ahead of their qualifier with Norway on Sunday. This will be Bastian Schweinsteiger’s final international game and as a result is being billed as something of a testimonial, with the former Bayern man needing some cheering up after being relegated to the U-21’s by Jose Mourinho.
We have Finland ranked as the 68th best team in the world and Germany’s record when hosting sides outside the world’s top-50 is W12-D1-L0 since 2010 as they led at the break in 10 of these games and kept seven clean sheets, while nine of their wins were by more than two goals.
Conversely, Finland have lost six of eight winless trips to teams we have ranked in the world’s top-25 since 2010, trailing at the break in six of these defeats and failing to score in half.
As a result, we’re backing Jogi Loew’s men to win to nil against a Finland side that has failed to score in five of their last six. With all eyes on Schweinsteiger, he’s likely to be given the chance to take set-pieces and penalties as his teammates will no doubt be keen for him to get on the scoresheet in his final game, so we’ll take a chance on him to score anytime .