Stronger England can take down Germans!
Okay, it’s time for some positivity and some optimism. England (21/10) can bounce straight back from their humbling defeat to Chile by beating old foe Germany (11/8) at Wembley on Tuesday night and so put a spring back in the step of Roy Hodgson and his squad.
They are saying that the Chile game was a reality check, but it’s not like it was needed. Everybody knows, or at least should know, that we’re just not as good as the best of the European and South American teams. Coral go 25/1 England winning the World Cup and we’re a big price for a reason.
But that doesn’t mean that England can’t compete with the best on our day and occasionally (usually when the result doesn’t really matter) take them down – we have, after all, beaten Spain and Brazil in the past two years
Admittedly, confidence behind England would be tempered somewhat if Germany were taking this friendly a little more seriously than they appear to be. Injuries have forced coach Joachim Low’s hand to a certain degree, but he is also resting half of his regular starting line-up, while the German fans have shown just how much it means to them by returning a large percentage of their ticket allocation.
And while Germany will be weaker, England should be stronger with the return of captain Steve Gerrard and striker Daniel Sturridge, among others.
Indeed, Hodgson is likely to put out something like his first choice eleven after blooding the likes of Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster and the Southampton pair Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriquez against the Chileans.
Lallana, 7/2 with Coral to be on the plane to Rio after trading at 20/1 at the start of the month, did more than enough on Friday to warrant another ‘trial’ but might be replaced for this game by Ross Barkley (7/4 to make the final 23), who showed some classy touches in the short time he was on the pitch as a substitute.
Forster did okay and will probably be one of the back-up keepers behind Joe Hart, still Hodgson’s undisputed number one, despite his recent mistakes for Manchester City. Rodriquez, though, seemed to suffer stage fright and doesn’t look ready yet.
England and Germany have some great history, of course, the undoubted highlights for the Three Lions being the 4-2 World Cup Final win and a 5-1 away win in a Munich qualifier. Coral go 80/1 it’s 1966 all over again and 150-1 we repeat that wonderful 2001 scoreline.
But that was then and this is now – Germany are now one of the strongest teams on the planet, just 5/1 to win the World Cup, and we can anticipate a tight encounter, whoever they put on the field.
Maybe this time it will be down to which team is ‘up for it’ most and on this occasion it might well be England. Coral go 11/1 it finishes 1-0 and you can get 35/1 if you couple that result with Wayne Rooney being the goalscorer (45/1 Sturridge).