FOOTBALL journalist Adam Goodwin (@AGJournalism) runs the rule over Thursday night's opening Nations League clash between Germany and France.
Germany v France | Thursday 6th September 2018, 19:45 | Sky Sports
This is these sides’ first UEFA Nations League game, where they join Netherlands in Group A1.
Both of these nations had contrasting summers at the World Cup – Germany getting eliminated in the group stages, whilst France went on to win it.
After his recent exclusion from the Man City squad by Pep Guardiola, Leroy Sane has been recalled by Joachim Low, despite missing out on a trip to the World Cup. Other than that there are no notable inclusions but Timo Werner will be hoping to improve from a disappointing World Cup for him and his country.
Perhaps their premature elimination from the World Cup could’ve been predicted when you look at their poor record of keeping clean sheets at home.
Five (83%) of the six teams to play away at Germany have scored at least one goal – this includes Azerbaijan and Saudi Arabia. You’d imagine a French side that consists of Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud will have no problem in bagging at least one goal against a Germany defence lacking in confidence.
France won the World Cup two months ago and Didier Deschamps has retained the entirety of that squad, except for goalkeepers Hugo Lloris and Steve Mandanda, who are both ruled out by injury. The goalkeepers that Didier Deschamps has called-up have a combined one cap, leaving them lacking in experience in that particular position.
France seem to enjoy playing away from home, scoring 11 goals in their last six games on the road. They’ve secured impressive wins against Holland, Italy and Portugal away from home in the last 12 months and will be high on confidence after their World Cup win in the summer.
The betting angle
These two teams met in a friendly earlier this year which ended 2-2 and I can see more goals in this one again. The stats point to Both Teams To Score and you can back that at 3/4 with Sportingbet.
I also like the look of Kylian Mbappe to score anytime. The 19-year-old was in blistering form throughout the World Cup and has already scored four goals in three games so far this campaign.
Mbappe was sent off in PSG’s game at the weekend, so will be keen to make the most of his limited game time over the next few weeks.
You can back Mbappe to score anytime at 2/1 with Paddy Power.
Germany v France – Both Teams To Score (3/4 Sportingbet)
Germany v France – Kylian Mbappe to score at anytime (2/1 Paddy Power)