Three reasons why England can shock Germany at Wembley
Jorge Sampaoli’s impressive Chile outfit let some of the wind out of England’s 2014 World Cup sails at Wembley, thanks largely to calamitous defending from the Three Lions.
Roy Hodgson’s boys are the 7/4 outsiders to make amends when European powerhouse Germany visit, but there may be some value in those odds considering England’s prior home form and the likelihood that players missing against La Roja will return to face an old foe.
Hodgson looks set to name a much more familiar XI against Die Mannschaft.
An England side shorn of Liverpool stars Daniel Sturridge and captain Steven Gerrard lacked bite against a clinical Chile team that bossed possession in north-west London.
Both Reds players are in contention to start against Germany, should they come through a late fitness assessment and Southampton striker Rickie Lambert is also thought to be winning his race to be available for the next fixture.
Fraser Forster did little wrong in his international debut between the sticks, but England’s defensive organisation suffered from a lack of continuity and Joe Hart must be recalled to face Joachim Low’s side.
An injury to Phil Jones means Gary Cahill – who had a woeful night against Sampaoli’s side – should keep his place alongside the returning Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines – who also had an off evening – will likely make way for 105-cap stalwart Ashley Cole at left-back.
Low has his own selection issues, with Sami Khedira out and Mesut Ozil likely to be rested.
Real Madrid holding midfielder Khedira could be out for the rest of the season and may even miss the 2014 World Cup, after tearing a cruciate knee ligament in Germany’s 1-1 draw against Italy.
Low named an experimental lineup against Cesare Prandelli’s side, leaving Ozil on the bench for 55 minutes and starting the match without a recognised centre-forward again, after Miroslav Klose was ruled out with a shoulder injury picked up with his club Lazio.
Ozil is expected to start on the sidelines for a second match in a row at Wembley and his Arsenal colleague Per Mertesacker’s continued absence through injury is a big loss in defence.
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and captain Philipp Lahm are also expected to sit out this fixture and a near to full-strength England side can take advantage of their replacements relative callowness.
The 2-0 loss against Chile was England’s first home defeat under their veteran coach.
Wins in their last three 2014 World Cup qualifiers at fortress Wembley booked England’s tickets to Brazil next summer and Hodgson’s men scored 10 goals in those fixtures, for the concession of just a single strike.
A friendly loss against a side that have now won seven and drawn three of their last 10 games – against teams such as Uruguay, Spain, Brazil and Colombia – hardly warrants a clarion call for panic on the streets of London.
England have beaten Brazil and Italy at home since the former Fulham coach took over the reins from Fabio Capello and Germany have failed to find a way past the Azzurri twice during the same period.
The third-highest scorers – and joint-meanest defence of the teams that played 10 games – in European qualifying have not become useless overnight and the Three Lions will be grateful for the chance to put the record straight so quickly after the Chile game when Germany visit.