A friendly between England and Germany and poor old Gareth Southgate has been hit with more withdrawals than a Las Vegas cashpoint.
So far, Raheem Sterling, Fabian Delph, Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Harry Winks have all declared themselves unavailable for Friday’s friendly against Germany. Doubtless all will miraculously recover for the next round of Premier League fixtures on November 18.
Still, there’s something intriguing about an England v Germany match even if England’s most memorable result against the old enemy was recorded a mere 51 years ago.
The rivalry has always been intense, competitive and keenly contested. Let’s face it, we’ve always got on well with the Germans – apart from those two World Wars.
Germany are so successful when it comes to football there seems no reason not to follow the German model, although when I tried it she did take out a restraining order against me. They say Germans don’t have a sense of humour but when it comes to football they don’t need one.
England, on the other hand, would have their hands full even if the likes of Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling weren’t nursing pretend injuries. The visitors are currently on an unbeaten streak of 19 matches.
Die Mannschaft, a terrible way to go I should imagine, cruised through World Cup qualifying with typical Germanic efficiency, a perfect record of 10 wins from 10 matches, scoring 43 goals and conceding just four.
It’s never easy to gauge how hard each team will be trying when it comes to friendlies and whether the respective coaches will be experimenting with formations, personnel and strategies. Not that any of those things are typically associated with England teams.
England have won 17 of their last 19 at Wembley, but most of those victories have come against lowly ranked countries. They have only won one of their last five home friendlies against teams that have ranked in the world’s top-10.
In short we’re flat track bullies and when we come up against bigger and better opposition, we crumble.
Germany should be bought at 48.8 to win the match with Spreadex. The market makes up at 100 if Germany win, but 0 if England win or the game is drawn. Only bet what you can afford as anything can happen in sport!
England are putting out a severely weakened team against a well-oiled winning machine. The gulf in class should be apparent by the end of the match and reflected in the score.