Friday International Friendly Match – Germany vs Spain

March 23rd 2018 19:45 – Espirt Stadium, Dusseldorf

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Germany: WWWWW

Spain: WWWW

In one of the most competitive looking friendly matches in the up coming round of International fixtures, the two previous winners of the World Cup meet with both sides looking to make a statement of intent ahead of this summer’s finals in Russia.

German football is undoubtedly at its highest level for many a year, World Cup winners in 2014, they then won the Confederations Cup last summer with essentially its second string team. Germany are unbeaten in 21 matches since their elimination at the semi-final stage of Euro 2016, now reaping the benefits after making fundamental changes to the structure of German football in 2000.

Germany have left Marco Reus and Mario Gotze out of their squad since both have only just returned after long term lay offs. Germany’s head coach Joachim Loew believes the decision to drop Reus will be in the Dortmund star’s interest: “It’s important for us that Marco is guided to the top level gently and without additional pressure and that he gets stability.” Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is also a long term injury victim but Barcelona’s Marc Andre Ter Stegen is a more than competent replacement.

Spain are also unbeaten since being knocked out of Euro 2016, a run stretching back 16 matches. The Spaniards have faced the likes of England, France, Italy and Belgium in that time, and inflicted the Italian’s  first loss in either FIFA World Cup or UEFA European Championship qualifying since September 2006, a run of 56 matches, when they won 3-0 in Madrid.

Spanish head coach Julen Lopetegui has left a whole host of household names out of his squad. Chelsea’s Alvaro Morata, Cesc Fabregas and Pedro are among those who did not receive a call-up, while team-mate Marcos Alonso got his call to join the squad for the first time. Hector Bellerin, Juan Mata and Sergi Roberto have also been left out, whilst former Chelsea striker Diego Costa is back in the squad, ironically ahead of Morata.

Over the last decade, Spain have benefited from consistently being able to draw upon a core group of players with a similar playing style, particularly at Barcelona, and as a result their opponents have often played more defensively to shut down their possession-based game. It is possible that Joachim Löw may opt for Ilkay Gündogan in a more advanced position as someone capable of retaining possession against the Spanish, like he did against France in November.

Prediction: Eight of Spain’s last 10 friendly’s on their travels have had no more than two goals scored, while they drew four of the last six of these. Both teams have scored in 10 of Germany’s last 14 games with Joachim Low’s side conceding exactly once in seven of these, so both teams to score but with goals under 2.5 would seem the better bet. You can back Under 2.5 goals at 4/5 and BTTS at 4/6 with Betfair.

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