England face a very tough test in Germany this week, but does it really count for that much?
England are without a few of their key players although they will be confident of a repeat of their away win against Germany last year, however the absence of Theo Walcott, Wayne Rooney and Harry Kane is certain to be a blow for the Three Lions and they will certainly struggle to emulate that success of a year ago, never mind the famous 5-1 that will still be fresh in many people’s minds.
Nevertheless results have been good since England’s flop at last summer’s European Championships, although who else but England could enjoy a 2-0 lead over Spain but blow it with just a few minutes left to draw 2-2? In the five games following the disastrous defeat to Iceland, the Three Lions have not been beaten but it really isn’t what you do in international friendlies that determines what a good side you are.
What will England boss Gareth Southgate do on Wednesday evening in Germany? Will he give Marcus Rashford another chance to shine and can Tottenham’s Dele Alli reproduce his fine club form for King and Country? There remain plenty of questions about England as usual and let’s not forget that friendlies count for nothing. Should the Three Lions beat Germany there will certainly be the usual chest-thumping and gloating but should they then lose to Lithuania in a very meaningful match then it would be an unmitigated disaster. Indeed England away goals have been rather thin on the ground of late with just the late winner against Lithuania and we’re not expecting a goal-fest of any description on Wednesday night.
Germany may be walking their World Cup group but they can’t usually be relied upon to come up with the goods in friendlies, therefore we’ll be avoiding the outright winner market and going instead on Under 2.5 goals this week.