OLD rivals Germany and Poland lock horns on Thursday night. We asked Will Dyer (@W2Dyer) to deliver us his best bet for the spicy encounter.
Germany v Poland | Thursday 20.00 | ITV
This is arguably the biggest game yet in Euro 2016 and it’s been given the venue to suit at the Stade de France. Both teams won their opening games so if we have a winner here, they will be almost guaranteed top spot
. I thought we might have seen some tactical thinking in relation to the draw after the first round of games but that wasn’t the case. Belgium’s defeat to Italy could actually see the Red Devils get an easier draw should they qualify in second.
The winner of this game would go into the same quarter of the draw as the winner of Group E, which would be tough. But the runner-up in Group C (Poland and Germany’s pool) will be in the same quarter as the winner of group D; probably Spain or Croatia.
There’s not much to choose between those two teams so I expect both teams to try and win this fixture.
I would expect the winner and runner-up in Group C to both win their Last-16 games;; they would be against a third-placed side from A, B or F for the winner with second taking on second spot from Group A. We are talking about teams like Switzerland, Romania, Wales, Russia and Hungary; all would be underdogs against both Germany and Poland.
We have a bit of recent history to go by when looking at these two nations. They were paired in qualifying Group D – Germany won 3-1 in their home fixture and Poland won 2-0 in Warsaw. The Germans absolutely dominated Poland on their own patch but the Poles created clear-cut chances and took them well.
The game in Frankfurt last September was quite different. Possession statistics were similar but Poland actually had the same number of shots-on-target and were much more efficient with their build up play.
That most recent encounter reminded me a lot of Germany’s opener in the Euros against Ukraine. There were a few standout performances from the likes of Mario Gotze and Jerome Boateng but otherwise they weren’t overly convincing
. I’m fairly confident that Poland will get their chances and that Arkadiusz Milik and Robert Lewandowski will both have better games than they did against Northern Ireland. They should have much more space because they won’t be facing a team with 10 men behind the ball.
Germany have conceded a quite astonishing 26 goals in their 20 internationals since their World Cup final win. That actually doesn’t surprise me that much with Jonas Hector, Antonio Rudiger, Benedikt Howedes and Shkodran Mustafi featuring in the defence, whilst I also don’t rate Boateng that highly.
Sure, Boateng’s athleticism is exceptional but his positioning has been poor in big games in the past; e.g. when handing the win to Man City for Bayern in November 2014.
Those aforementioned goals conceded include two against the USA, two against France, two against Australia, three against England, three against Slovakia, two in two games to Ireland and even three in two games to Scotland who failed to qualify.
Of course we’ve all heard the cliché, ‘Germany always turn up at tournaments’ but there’s no value in backing them at 3/5 to win this, in my opinion.
Lewandowski (43/20 Netbet) to score anytime, appeals. He knows all of these German players well, as does Lukasz Piszczek and Jakub Błaszczykowski.
Poland could and should have scored at least three against Northern Ireland; Milik wasted a glorious chance and if it wasn’t for some stellar defending, Poland would almost certainly have scored from one of their eight corners.
We also saw a quite fabulous performance from young playmaker Bartosz Kapustka. He will certainly have a harder time against the German midfield with the brilliance of Toni Kroos around him but I still fancy him to create a magic moment or two.
All of the value looks to be on Poland, for me. We can back them +1 on the Asian Handicap to bag a draw with the safety of getting our money back should they lose by one goal at 1/1 (Netbet).
The White Eagles have lost just one of their last 25 games by more than a one-goal margin, whilst the odds on the Poles to score just once (20/31 Netbet) are also too good to turn down.
Germany v Poland – Robert Lewandowski to score anytime (43/20 Netbet)
Germany v Poland – Poland +1 Asian Handicap (1/1 Netbet)
Germany v Poland – Poland to score Over 0.5 Goals (20/31 Netbet)