Euro 2016 last 16: Germany to rewrite script in Slovakia showdown
Holly Thackeray | June 24, 2016
Germany v Slovakia
- Euro 2016 last 16
- Sunday, June 26th
- Kick-off: 17:00 BST
- Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille
- Live on ITV
Die Mannschaft to avenge defeat in Slovakia re-run
Euro 2016’s headlines may have been hijacked by the likes of defiant outsiders Iceland, Hungary and Wales so far, but as the business end of the tournament begins with the round of 16, the big-guns should now step up.
Germany (odds-on 2/5 for match success in 90 minutes) may have lost their last scuffle with dark horses Slovakia, with that ill-fated friendly perhaps fresh in the mind of Coral punters, but Die Mannschaft still hold a dominant head-to-head record of seven triumphs from 10 in this fixture.
This stat only counts clashes with the Falcons post split with Czechoslovakia, and is the best indicator of where both countries are at, with 20 places between the pair in FIFA’s rankings.
Joachim Low’s lads famously and fortuitously only tend to click into gear when it comes to crunch time, so should have no concerns even after their May defeat.
A draw at 10/3 in normal time could be appealing, considering how best third place qualifiers the Falcons held England at bay, with the Germans also at times looking uncharacteristically toothless up top in this tournament so far.
Yet, there is no historical precedent for a splitting of spoils and, while Germany should have sharpened their teeth, Slovakia will rightly fancy their chances of a win at 9/1 in 90 mins having found the formula to shock the world champions.
What does Coral football ambassador Alan Shearer think ahead of Germany v Slovakia? Here are his thoughts on this last 16 battle:
Much expected from Muller and co
Germany, if a little lacklustre in attack of late, have managed to shore up their backline again after their last Slovakia blip. Having kept a clean sheet in all of their past four fixtures, including their three Euro group games, Low and co are also odds-on at 10/11 for a victory to nil.
For better value on the favourites, customers can get an 11/4 price for Germany to win both halves, or 6/1 to emerge triumphant in extra-time if you back Slovakia to hold them off for that long. While, Die Mannschaft are 12/1 to take the plaudits on penalties, in stereotypical ice-cold fashion.
With two of their previous four outings successful by a 2-0 scoreline, the Germans are 16/5 to secure progress to the quarters by exactly two goals in this game.
For that to occur, punters will expect to see far more potency up front. Veteran marksman Mario Gomez was an inspired addition against Northern Ireland last time out and, after grabbing the only goal, is 5/4 for another anytime.
Thomas Muller, meanwhile, has six in as many of his last caps and is 9/2 to net first and open his Euro 2016 account. A goal fest seems overdue for the Bayern Munich forward, who memorably won the 2010 World Cup Golden Boot and 2014 World Cup Silver Boot.
Muller’s time will most certainly arrive and customers can opt for Slovakia to be the unfortunate victims with odds of 6/1 for a brace or better.
Other enticing German options in attack include Mario Gotze (7/4 anytime), Mesut Ozil (11/4) and Julian Draxler (10/3), while defensive lynchpin Jerome Boateng is fighting to be fit for the encounter after picking up a calf problem versus Northern Ireland.
Can Slovakia continue the trend
With many an underdog pulling off spectacular results so far, Slovakia will be hoping for more of the same. Yet, they had to bunker down against a young English side and should be heavily under the cosh again.
A smash and grab looks their most best bet, but real quality in attack will be needed to beat Manuel Neuer in net.
Vladimir Weiss has a spectacular strike or two in his locker, and the ex-Manchester City wingman is 5/1 for a second competition goal anytime. While, captain Marek Hamsik’s threat when bombing forward from midfield is well known and still the Slovaks’ most likely source of luck at 4/1.
Hamsik hit home the opener in the recent 3-1 rout against Die Mannschaft, and was joined on the scoresheet by Michal Duris (5/1) and Juraj Kucka (12/1). Still, Slovakia are highly unlikely to have it all their own way this time, as Germany set their sights on a glamorous quarter-final collision with either Spain or Italy.
Coral’s top tip: Back Germany at 11/4 to win both halves.