Returning stars can fire England to victory against Germany
England were undone by some sloppy defending and Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez at Wembley against Chile, but Roy Hodgson’s boys get an immediate opportunity to put that loss to bed against football powerhouse Germany.
Die Mannschaft are among the favourites to lift the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but manager Joachim Low will name an experimental side against England and the Three Lions welcome back some experienced heads for this clash.
England to win @ 2/1
The former Fulham coach was right to experiment against Chile and England now have three newly-minted internationals, one of whom – Southampton’s Adam Lallana – will be given the chance to build on a promising debut performance with another run-out here.
However, Hodgson’s XI for this game will have a much more familiar feel to it with Joe Hart, Ashley Cole, Phil Jagielka, Steven Gerrard and Premier League joint-top scorer Daniel Sturridge all back in the fold.
Wayne Rooney will drop into his preferred spot behind a centre-forward, where he has performed so effectively for Manchester United this season and Andros Townsend starts on the left wing.
They may be facing the 5/1 second-favourites for the 2014 World Cup, but Germany will rest captain Philipp Lahm, keeper Manuel Neuer and £42.5m Arsenal number 10 Mesut Ozil for the Wembley clash.
Influential Real Madrid holding-midfielder Sami Khedira is unavailable and could be out for the rest of the season with torn ligaments, while Miroslav Klose’s injury leaves Joachim Low with only 5-cap Borussia Monchengladbach striker Max Kruse in his centre-forward ranks.
Germany could be there for the taking and England can reward the Wembley faithful with a morale-boosting win.
Daniel Sturridge to score the first goal @ 7/1
The Birmingham-born hotshot – who has scored an incredible 21 goals in 28 games for Liverpool, since joining the Reds at the start of January – is back to spearhead the England attack, after missing the game against Chile through injury.
Sturridge grabbed his second goal for England last month against Montenegro and four of his league-leading eight top-flight strikes for the Reds this season have opened the scoring in their respective matches.
The 24-year-old can confirm his place as England’s number one centre-forward with the first goal here and take some of the pressure off Rooney ahead of the 2014 World Cup to boot.
Over 2.5 goals in the match @ 4/6
England’s friendlies since Euro 2012 have tended to be free-scoring affairs, with only the match against Chile and the tense first game against Republic of Ireland for 18 years producing less than three strikes.
Germany’s 1-1 draw against Italy was also something of an outlier, as their other three friendlies in 2013 have all featured at least three net-bulgers and Die Mannschaft’s previous ten games had produced a whopping combined total of 47 goals.
A hat-trick of strikes were registered in all of those clashes and with both teams set to throw caution to the wind in north-west London, England number one Joe Hart and Borussia Dortmund stopper Roman Weidenfeller should be in for busy nights.