With fierce competition for places in the Euro squad, England players will be desperate to impress Hodgson and secure their place in France.
The Three Lions travel to Berlin on Saturday to face world champions Germany in the first of 5 friendlies they will play in advance of this summer’s Euro 2016 tournament. After coasting through their qualifying group with 10 wins out of 10, Hodgson’s men have faced sterner opposition in recent games, facing France and Spain last November, losing to the reigning Euro champions 2-0 in an impressive performance before beating France by the same scoreline the week after.
Die Mannschaft, who had a harder time winning their qualifying group (edging out rivals Poland by just 1 point), have had mixed results since their triumph at the World Cup in 2014. Joachim Loew’s men won 7 of their 10 qualifying games, but suffered shock defeats to Poland and the Republic of Ireland. Despite dominating possession in most games (frequently around 70%), goals didn’t come as freely as expected – whilst 24 goals in 10 games is not a bad return, it was only 2 more than Scotland, and 11 of those 24 came against minnows Gibraltar. They will have to up their game significantly to score against an England side which conceded just 3 goals in their qualifying campaign – at 7/1 the visitors are great value to keep a clean sheet and shut out the Germans.
With fierce competition to make the Euro 2016 squad, a lot of players will be desperate to impress Roy Hodgson and stake their claim for a seat on the plane to France in June. With the German squad a lot more settled, the English players have a lot more to play for, and are likely to be raring to show what they can do. Back the visiting side to overcome their rivals and triumph in this one at 15/4.With 4 of England’s last 5 games finishing 2-0 (3 wins and 1 loss) – and Germany’s last game being a 2-0 defeat to France, at 25/1 a 2-0 win to England looks fantastic value.
England look set to feature a number of players with little international experience – notably Danny Drinkwater, who has impressed for Leicester this season, and Eric Dier, who will look to add to his 2 caps and could possibly start in midfield next to debutant Drinkwater. He will also be lining up with Spurs teammate Harry Kane, who has pulled ahead of Jamie Vardy in the race for the golden boot after scoring a brace last weekend. Kane has scored 3 goals in his 8 international appearances so far, and is the favourite to open England’s account at 5/1.
If England are to perform well in the Euros, they need to be able to get results against the best teams in the world. Whilst many will claim that there is more chance of winning a jackpot on the pokies at PokiesPalace.com.au than England emerging victorious in 2016, some pundits believe the likes of Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane can spring a surprise on the bigger teams. These players are yet to perform on the highest stage as neither Leicester or Spurs are in the Champions League, and these two could be Hodgson’s secret weapon.