England take on Germany in the last-16 of Euro 2020 on Tuesday in a 5pm kick-off at Wembley Stadium.
The Three Lions topped Group D with seven points to progress to this stage, while Die Mannschaft were sandwiched between France and Portugal – who have both been knocked out of the tournament in recent days – as runners-up in the ‘Group of Death’.
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England are marginal 29/20 favourites to win the match, with the draw 23/10 and a Germany win 19/10.
In truth there is clearly very little to split these teams, with home advantage perhaps swaying it 55-45 in England’s favour now that Wembley will be at half-capacity.
Gareth Southgate’s side are the last remaining side in the competition yet to concede a goal but have struggled offensively, scoring only twice from 21 shots across their three matches.
Joachim Low, meanwhile, who will stand down from the Germany dugout after 15 years in charge at the end of this tournament, has led his side to a real mixed bag so far, crushing Portugal 4-2 before almost crashing out of the tournament until substitute Leon Goretzka’s late equaliser saved the day against Hungary.
Monday was perhaps one of the greatest days in major tournament history, with 14 goals scored across two games and tournament favourites Les Bleus knocked out by Switzerland, but it’s tough to see lightning striking twice.
Given England’s defensive solidity but offensive woes, and the likelihood of them matching up Germany’s formation with a back five, I’m going to back both teams to score under three goals in what could be an extremely cagey, nervy affair, especially for us England fans.
England had six corners against Scotland and Czech Republic, with Germany having three or more in all three of their games, so I’ll also back both teams to earn 3+.
Lastly, in order to give us a double your money shot, I’ll back Germany to receive a card. Low’s side have received at least one in all three matches for a total of five, with England’s opponents also receiving one in each game for a total of six.
Southgate’s side are likely to have less possession and hit Germany’s back three in transition, which could force their defence and midfield into committing tactical fouls on turnovers.
Moreover, Dutch referee Danny Makkelie has shown both teams at least one card each in 18 of his last 20 games in all competitions, including last time out in this competition when he showed Russia three and Finland two.
If you want a bigger price, England to score, Over 3 Corners for each team, 2+ Germany cards & 1+ England card is 5/1 (bet365).
Germany are yet to keep a clean sheet and I just think England’s quality in attack will have enough about them to get a goal; in terms of winning, though, it’s all about whether they can keep a ninth clean sheet in 10 matches.
One last Bet Builder of mine would be Over 11.5 Shots for Germany and Over 6.5 Goal Kicks for England at 6/4 (bet365).
Ultimately game state will have a huge say in whether this bet lands, but I do have a hunch that England will score first.
This will be the first time that Germany have played away from Munich at the tournament, which could negatively impact on them, at least in the early stages of the match.
England started quickly against Czech Rep and may look to do the same against Germany, who have fallen behind within the first 20 minutes of all three of their matches at this tournament so far.
Should that happen once again, it is likely Germany would rack up 12+ shots chasing the game, as they did against Portugal and Hungary, only falling two short of this mark against France.
England have also had 7+ goal kicks in all three of their matches against inferior sides than Germany, with all three of Germany’s opponents having 7+ goal kicks, too.
In terms of player cards, my strongest fancies from either team would be Kalvin Phillips (9/4) and Toni Kroos (7/2).
Neither midfielder has been booked at Euro 2020 yet despite committing seven and five fouls respectively, with Phillips receiving 11 cautions for Leeds last season and Kroos nine for Real Madrid.
The German playmaker is averaging 3.3 tackles per game at this tournament, too, so is clearly getting through a lot of work in midfield. Indeed, should Goretzka replace Ilkay Gundogan in the side as many are predicting, it’s likely to be Kroos sitting in front of the defence with the Bayern Munich man bombing on to provide a goalscoring threat.
The double pays 16/1 (Betfair).
Lastly, Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz both to score in 90 minutes looks way too big at 28/1 (Sky Bet).
Both are leading the way for their nations with two goals apiece at this tournament, with Harry Kane and Thomas Muller providing a central foil for their runs in behind and predatory instincts in front of goal.
This is double the price of the odds on offer at bet365 and Betfair, to name two other major bookmakers.
Under 3 Goals for each team, Over 2 Corners for each team & 1+ Germany card @ EVS (bet365)
Over 11.5 Shots for Germany & Over 6.5 Goal Kicks for England @ 6/4 (bet365)
Kalvin Phillips & Toni Kroos to be carded @ 16/1 (Betfair)
Raheem Sterling & Kai Havertz both to score @ 28/1 (Sky Bet)