International Friendly Preview and Prediction: Germany vs England

Competition: International Friendly – Germany vs England

Venue: Olympiastadion, Germany – Saturday, March 26 – 19:45 GMT (15:45 ET)

Match Odds: Germany 8/13 – Draw 29/10 – England 17/4

Match Preview

Three-time European Championship winners and current World champions Germany welcome England to the Olympiastadion on Saturday evening in a friendly tie that should be full of action.

The footballing machine that is Germany are arguably the best national team in the world at the moment and have a squad brimming with confidence.

They do however come into this friendly off the back of a 2-0 loss to France last time out in a game that will live long in the memory of players and fans alike for heartbreaking and disastrous reasons off the field.

This should be a good test for Germany ahead of the Euro’s and a tie for all to enjoy. They face Italy next so it’s going to be a tough international break for Joachim Löw’s side. Germany have won three of the last four meetings between these sides and will expect home advantage to help them through.

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England have a lot to be optimistic about heading into this tie in what is a new era for Roy Hodgson’s side. There are a lot of young and upcoming top talents in the squad and two exciting goal-machines upfront in the form of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy – the Premier League’s top two goalscorers.

Hodgson will be able to test out some different variations in this tie and it will again provide a test for the squad he has chosen. This will be also be a tough international break for England, as they face the Netherlands three days after this outing, so rotation is expected throughout.

England also played France in their last outing but they had a more favourable result, winning 2-0 at Wembley.

Hodgson’s side are held in high regard by Löw, who expects them to challenge to win Euro 2016 in France this summer, so this is a great chance to prove to any doubters England are more than capable of causing problems for the very best.

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Team News

The German squad is as strong as ever, with some of the highest regarded players once again earning a call up. The fierce attacking options at Löw’s disposal are frightening, with the likes of Thomas Muller, Marco Reus, Mesut Ozil and Karim Bellarabi expecting to start in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira are expecting to fill the holding role, with Mats Hummels and Shkodran Mustafi in line to feature as the centre-back paring. Familiar faces included in the squad such as Andre Schurrle, Mario Gotze, Mario Gomez and Emre Can will all be pushing to feature. Bastain Schweinsteiger has been ruled out through injury.

England are without regular goalkeeper Joe Hart, so Jack Butland is expected to start. The Tottenham Hotspur contingency in the squad, Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Dele Alli, Eric Dier and Harry Kane will hope their fine Premier League performances this season will be enough to gain some minutes in this tie. Hodgson has a solid squad heading into the clash with the likes of Jamie Vardy, James Milner, Chris Smalling and Jordan Henderson all having consistent domestic seasons. Danny Drinkwater will be itching to make his senior England debut and what a game it could be for him to feature in. Wayne Rooney and Raheem Sterling are both out through injury.

Key Points

Germany’s last five: W/W/L/W/L

England’s last five: W/W/W/L/W

Key Stat: England have only lost once in their last 17 games.

Key Player: Manuel Neuer – The German ‘keeper, widely regarded as the best in the world and equally as good with the ball at his feet, will prove as always so difficult to get the better of.

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Score Prediction

Germany 2-1 England – The German national side will prove to have just a little too much for England to deal with on Saturday. This game should provide both sides with a taster of what is to come from the Euro’s this summer and give both head coaches ideas of areas they will need to improve upon with just over two months to go.

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International Friendly Preview and Prediction: England vs France

Competition: International Friendly – England vs. France 

Venue: Wembley Stadium – Tuesday, November 17 – 20:00 GMT (15:00 ET)

Match Odds: England 6/4 – Draw 11/5 – France 15/8

Match Preview

England face Euro 2016 hosts France at Wembley on Tuesday night in a friendly game that will see the two nations stand together following Friday night’s tragic terror attacks in Paris.

Initially it seemed obvious that the game would be cancelled by the French Football Federation but they have decided to let the game go ahead. England and France will use the match to showcase the two nations’ solidarity following Friday’s events.

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England come into the game following their 2-0 defeat to Spain in Alicante on Friday evening. The result saw England lose for the first time since the 2014 World Cup, ending a run of 14 games unbeaten.

With Wayne Rooney and Jamie Vardy out through injury, Harry Kane is the only fit striker available to Roy Hodgson and there are worries the England squad looks too weak just months before the European Championships get underway.

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It will be interesting to see what the side will look like with Dele Alli and Eric Dier both awaiting their first start in an England shirt, and just how ‘experimental’ the starting XI will be on Tuesday evening.

France beat Germany 2-0 on Friday night in Paris as the tragic events in the French capital unfolded. The result of that game will mean little to French supporters but the game against England will go ahead.

However, Didier Deschamps’ side have now won five games in a row and will use the game with England to show solidarity. The European Championships in France are still set to go ahead and so the host nation will want to ensure they are in the best form possible.

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Key Points

England’s last five: W/W/W/W/L

France’s last five: W/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: England haven’t beaten France on home soil since 1992 and have failed to win in any of the last six meetings between the nations.

Key Player: Paul Pogba – Pogba is one of the world’s most complete midfielder and has been sensational since joining Juventus in 2012. It won’t be long until he’s one of, if not the best, players in world football. He’s a superb talent with unfathomable potential.

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Score Prediction

England 1-1 France – We’re hoping this game offers a chance for football to distract itself from the events in Paris on Friday night and hopefully both sides will be looking to get forward and score goals. We think a score draw is most likely.

International Preview and Prediction: USA vs Costa Rica

Competition: International Friendly – USA vs. Costa Rica

Venue: Red Bull Arena – Tuesday, October 13 – 23:30 BST (18:30 ET)

Match Odds: USA 4/5 – Draw 9/4 – Costa Rica 11/4 

Match Preview

Jurgen Klinsmann’s USMNT will want to quickly forget the heartbreaking loss on Saturday with a win when they host Costa Rica on Tuesday night in an international friendly.

The USMNT lost out on the chance of playing at the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia with the loss to Mexico on Saturday as they went down 3-2 in extra time.

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That loss followed the the disappointing Gold Cup run on home soil in the summer in what will go down as a year to forget for the US national team. And they will not be too confident of turning things around instantly here, after only winning twice in their last eight against Costa Rica.

For those that remember, England were knocked out of the World Cup in 2014 at the expense of Costa Rica so the nation possesses a great team. However, they have also endured a difficult 2015.

Costa Rican have won just once this year, coming in a 1-0 win over Uruguay in September but they will see Tuesday’s game as a good chance to seal another victory over the USMNT.

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Key Points

USA’s last five: L/D/W/L/L

Costa Rica’s last five: D/L/L/W/L

Key Stat: The USA have never beaten Costa Rica in an international friendly (P3 – D1 – L2)

Key Player: Joel Campbell – Everyone that saw Costa Rica at the World Cup should know how much of a talent Campbell is and it still baffles many as to how Arsene Wenger leaves him on the bench all the time at Arsenal.

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Score Prediction

USA 2-1 Costa Rica – Hopefully this meeting will be more than just another game as both sides have a point to prove as CONCACAF rivals. Both have proved themselves as solid sides over the past few years and this will be a good test for both. This should be an advert for how good football has become in North and Central America and an entertaining affair is expected.

International Preview and Prediction: Germany vs USA

Competition: International Friendly – Germany vs. United States

Venue: RheinEnergieSTADION, Cologne – Wednesday, June 10 – 19:45 BST (14:45 ET)

Match Odds: Germany 4/11 – Draw 15/4 – USA 13/2

Match Preview

The US Men’s National Team face World Cup winners Germany on Wednesday night for the first time since they met in Brazil last summer.

Germany beat the USA 1-0 in the group stages on their way to World Cup victory a year ago but both sides come into this game looking ahead, rather than behind.

Die Mannschaft boss Joachim Low has had to change up his team after Philipp Lahm, Per Mertesacker and Miroslav Klose all retired after last summer’s success. Germany have only won four of their eight games since the World Cup and are behind Poland in their European Qualifying group.

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Wednesday’s friendly against the USMNT will give the Germans a good warm up before their qualifier against Gibraltar on Saturday.

But they could be in for a real test as Jurgen Klinsmann takes his USA side to his homeland for the first time in fine spirits after their 4-3 win over the Netherlands on Friday.

The USMNT rallied from 3-1 down to win the game in Amsterdam late on thanks to goals from Gyasi Zardes, John Brooks, Danny Williams and Bobby Wood.

The game in Cologne on Wednesday will be just as big a test, if not bigger, but that result has put USA fans in a great mood.

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In the 11 friendlies the USA have played since the World Cup they have only won four, but with back-to-back victories over Mexico and the Dutch coming into this, they shouldn’t be underestimated by the World champions.

It’s less than a month until the Gold Cup kicks off – a tournament the USA are co-hosting with Canada this summer, and with this being the penultimate friendly before that game, players will be desperate to prove why they need to be heading to the tournament with Klinsmann.

These two nations first met in 1993 and have faced off 10 times since. There has never been a draw, with Germany winning seven of the games between the two. The last USA win came two years ago in Washington as Klinsmann led the USMNT to a 4-3 victory.

Team News

Germany coach Joachim Low has left three World Cup winners out of his squad as Manuel Neuer, Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller have been given the chance to rest. That doesn’t mean this will be easy for the USA though as stars such as Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Mario Gotze, Sami Khedira, Mesut Ozil and Bastian Schweinsteiger are all included. Patrick Herrmann is expected to finally make his debut in midfield.

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Jurgen Klinsmann will not be able to call upon goalkeeper Nick Rimando as Cody Cropper has been called up as a replacement. Brad Guzan should keep his place in goal though, with the team likely to start in a 4-3-3 system once again. Brad Evans, Juan Agudelo and Miguel Ibarra are the only three players in the squad who didn’t see any minutes against the Netherlands so they will expect to feature.

Key Points

Germany’s last five: D/WW/D/W

USA’s last five: W/L/D/W/W

Key Stat: There have been 20 goals in the last five games between these two sides – an average of four per game.

Key Player: Michael Bradley – Since being appointed as captain, Bradley has been in fine form. His drive and leadership will be needed if the USMNT are to win this one.

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Score Prediction

Germany 2-2 USA – Expecting goals in this one between two sides that like to attack. Germany’s squad is not at its best and with the USA in fine spirits, it’s tough to separate the sides on paper. An entertaining draw looks to be on the cards.

International Preview and Prediction: Republic of Ireland vs England

Competition: International Friendly – Republic of Ireland vs. England

Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland – Sunday, June 7 – 13:00 BST

Match Odds: Ireland 11/4 – Draw 23/10 – England 1/1

Match Preview

Republic of Ireland welcome England to the Aviva Stadium on Sunday as the two meet in an international friendly in Ireland for the first time in 20 years.

The Green Army earned a draw the last time the two met back in 2013 at Wembley. They have lost just one in their last seven outings and look in good shape.

Ireland need to be high in confidence after this game and a win will no doubt help them. They face Scotland next weekend in a European Qualifier and they are hard pushed to qualify from a very tough group.

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This is the first time the sides have met in Ireland since the infamous night in 1995 where the game was abandoned just before the half-hour mark due to violence in the crowd.

England are unbeaten since their poor performance in the 2014 World Cup and have won seven of the eight they have played since last summer’s tournament. They are currently top of their European Qualifying group with five wins in five.

Roy Hodgson will be hoping for a good performance from his side in this tie before they travel to Slovenia on June 14 to continue their qualifying campaign. The England manager has given his squad a bit of a shake up and this is a great chance for him to experiment with some new faces.

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Team News

The Ireland squad is full of familiar faces as LA Galaxy‘s Robbie Keane, Shane Long, Aiden McGeady and Jonathan Walters will all expect to feature. Defender Paul McShane sat out their training session on Monday after he suffered a cut on his leg.

Roy Hodgson is expected to give debuts to Charlie Austin and Jamie Vardy after rewarding them with call ups. The two will more than likely get some playing time in friendly with Hodgson able to test out some different combinations. Fabian Delph missed training on Thursday after picking up a knock in the FA Cup final but he is expected to be fit. Adam Lallana was the only other player absent after spending some time at home following the birth of his second child. Tom Cleverley has been called up as a replacement for the injured Ryan Mason.

Key Points

Republic of Ireland’s last five: W/D/L/W/D

England’s last five: W/W/W/W/D

Key Stat: Ireland haven’t lost to England since 1985, winning one and drawing four over the past 30 years.

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Key Player: Wayne Rooney – The England captain remains just two goals behind Sir Bobby Charlton’s England goalscoring record and he will be hoping he can break it within the next two games.

Score Prediction

Republic of Ireland 1-2 England – The Three Lions to have just a little too much for Martin O’Neill’s side in a game where both teams have the chance to play with freedom. It should be a tense affair but goals are to be expected in Dublin on Sunday.

International Preview and Prediction: Switzerland vs USA

Competition: International Friendly – Switzerland vs. USA

Venue: Stadion Letzigrund, Switzerland – Tuesday, March 31 – 12:00 ET (17:00 BST)

Match Odds: Switzerland 1/1 – Draw 23/10 – USA 13/5

Match Preview

The USA complete their international break with a trip to Zurich to play Switzerland in what is another tough test for an experimental US Men’s National Team squad.

Switzerland are currently ranked as the twelfth best national side in the FIFA World Rankings and are higher than both Chile and Denmark – two sides who have already beaten the USMNT in 2015.

Jurgen Klinsmann is without key players Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler and Clint Dempsey to name just a few, so the squad isn’t at full strength. That means this is a perfect opportunity for fringe players to play themselves into Klinsmann’s Gold Cup plans and it will be important to try and put in a better performance than in Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to Denmark.

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After a poor recent run that has seen the USMNT lose four of their last five, a lot of fans are calling for improved results and a more positive feel going into a tournament that the USA are expected to win this summer.

Klinsmann is clearly experimenting and some might even say he still doesn’t know his best team yet. A result and a good performance with it are much needed on Tuesday afternoon.

Switzerland come into this friendly having won 3-0 against Estonia on Friday night in their European Championship qualifier.

Switzerland are now unbeaten in their last four, and have enough firepower to test a quite fragile USA defence. Players like Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka will be tough to contain and Nicklas Bendtner’s hat-trick last Wednesday proves there are problems at the back.

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Switzerland currently lie joint-second in Group E of their European Championship qualifying group, behind England and are a well-oiled team that have scored 13 goals in their last four, conceding just twice.

This will be the eighth meeting between the two nations. The USMNT won their only ever game against Switzerland in the most recent meeting in 2007, courtesy of a late Michael Bradley goal.

Team News

Switzerland have no injury concerns going into this one and they’re expected to name an unchanged side from the team that beat Estonia 3-0 on Friday. Johan Djourou and Fabian Schar are expected to continue at centre-back, while Xherdan Shaqiri should continue at the point of a diamond in midfield.

The USA will be without Aron Johannsson after he withdrew with an infection, so College star Jordan Morris has been called up as cover. Jozy Altidore could play upfront on his own or could partner Gyasi Zardes up front if Klinsmann moves Zardes into his more familiar role this time after he started on the right side of midfield against Denmark. Changes from that defeat last week are expected as Klinsmann experiments for the upcoming Gold Cup in July.

Key Points

Switzerland’s last five: L/W/W/D/W

USA’s last five: L/L/L/W/L

Key Stat: USA has lost a lead on four occasions in their last three matches, conceding four of the six goals in the second-half.

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Key Player: Xherdan Shaqiri – The Swiss playmaker will be a huge problem for the USMNT to deal with, and they may have to play an extra man in midfield to try and contain him.

Score Prediction

Switzerland 2-1 USA – Klinsmann’s side will need to put in a better display than they did against Denmark and they are expected to do so. Though this Switzerland side are very strong and are on a good run at the moment. They should edge it but the USA must make sure they can take some positives from the game.

International Friendly Preview and Prediction: Italy vs England

Competition: International Friendly – Italy vs. England

Venue: Juventus Stadium, Italy – Tuesday, March 31 – 19:45 BST

Match Odds: Italy 6/5 – Draw 23/10 – England 23/10

Match Preview

England face Italy in Turin on Tuesday night in what is a blockbuster friendly to cap off the international break for the Three Lions.

These two nations have established quite a rivalry over the years. This is a fixture that saw David Beckham captain England for the first time and also saw Paul Ince wear a bloodied head bandage in that famous 0-0 draw in Rome that clinched qualification for the World Cup in 1998 for England.

It’s a fixture that has seen the nations meet four times in major competitions, including last summer’s World Cup as the Italians sealed a 2-1 victory against England in both sides’ opening games.

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But it was a disappointing summer in Brazil for both teams as they crashed out of the World Cup in the group stage behind Uruguay and Costa Rica in Group D.

Italy are coming into Tuesday’s game off the back of a 2-2 draw away in Bulgaria on Saturday in their European qualifier, keeping up their impressive record of going unbeaten through their last 45 qualifying fixtures, dating back to 2006.

Debutant Eder scored a late equaliser in Saturday’s draw in Sofia and the Azzurri are now two points off top spot in Group H, behind leaders Croatia who they play next in Zagreb on June 12th.

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Italy’s preparation for the match has been hampered by reported death threats towards manager Antonio Conte. They came after midfielder Claudio Marchisio picked up an injury in training which was said to rule him out for months but that has now been confirmed as weeks. Another blow for Italy is that Gianluigi Buffon missed the Bulgaria match with flu and is a doubt to face England.

For Roy Hodgson, everything is looking fantastic in the Euro 2016 qualifiers after another win left them on 15 points with 15 goals scored following their 4-0 demolition of Lithuania at Wembley on Friday night.

England’s very own debutant Harry Kane scored on his debut for the Three Lions and he could start for against Italy on Tuesday.

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England play Slovenia in their next qualifier on June 14th, and a win against the Italians will only keep boosting the confidence with the team hungry for future success.

England have seen some of their squad from the Lithuania match either head back to their clubs or pick up injuries that have ruled from out of the match against the Italians but the remaining members of the team will want to impress against one of Europe’s top sides.

Team News

Italy will definitely be without Claudio Marchisio and Andrea Pirlo, while doubts linger over Daniele De Rossi and Gianluigi Buffon. Southampton striker Graziano Pelle will be pushing to start in attack.

For England, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Leighton Baines and James Milner will miss the trip. Ryan Bertrand has been called up as a replacement for Leighton Baines. After his impressive goal on Friday, Tottenham’s Harry Kane will be hopeful of forcing his way into the England starting eleven alongside Wayne Rooney, who needs just two goals to match Bobby Charlton’s all-time England goalscoring record.

Key Points

Italy’s last five: W/W/D/W/D

England’s last five: W/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: In 25 matches between the two nations, there has only been three 0-0 matches so we should see goals in Turin.

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Key Player: Wayne Rooney – The England captain is just two goals away from Bobby Charlton’s goalscoring record for England. He came agonisingly close to equalling it against Lithuania as he had multiple chances in front of goal. His confidence will be sky-high and he could cause the Italians problems.

Score Prediction

Italy 1-2 England – Without Pirlo pulling the strings for Italy, they lack so much creativity and that will be a huge boost for England. The Three Lions’ forceful attacking could lead to a goal or two and Hodgson will expect to see his side gain revenge for their 2-1 loss in Brazil last summer

International Preview and Prediction: USA vs Panama

USA vs Panama – International Friendly

Venue: StubHub Center – Sunday, February 8 – 9:00PM GMT (4:00PM ET)

Match Odds: USA 4/7 – Draw 11/4 – Panama 5/1

The US Men’s National Team take on Panama in their second friendly of the year and will look to record their first win in six after last week’s 3-2 loss to Chile made it three defeats on the bounce.

Jurgen Klinsmann tried a 3-5-2 system in that game but there was a lot to work on in terms of the formation and it will be interesting to see if he is bold enough to start with that against Panama on Sunday.

Late goals continue to haunt the USA and they conceded twice in the final 25 minutes against Chile to lose the match, despite leading 2-1 at halftime. They have taken the lead in four of their last five but have not won in any of those matches.

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Fitness is a valid excuse at this stage of the year with Major League Soccer players only just returning to action, and 20 of the 23 players in the squad play in MLS now so they are yet to reach full match fitness.

Klinsmann has hinted that the 3-5-2 system will be used again by saying: “Definitely, we want to keep developing it, because we want to use it when the moment is there and maybe we have the players for it. And therefore, it’s a card to keep working on.”

USA Predicted Lineup vs Panama

Possible USMNT lineup vs Panama (via Lineupbuilder.com)

A friendly means substitutions can help things though and Klinsmann will expect to see his side get back to winning ways against a Panama side that is set to play their first game of 2015.

The CONCACAF side are 28 places lower than the USA in the FIFA World Rankings but will be looking to kickstart 2015 in the same form as they ended last year as they only lost one of their last seven in 2014.

USA vs Panama head-to-head record: Played 14 – USA 11 – Draws 2 – Panama 1

Three MLS players have been called up to the squad for the game against the USMNT as LA Galaxy’s Jaime Penedo, FC Dallas striker Blas Perez and Colorado Rapids forward Gabriel Torres will all expect to feature.

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If he starts, Penedo will be playing in a familiar environment as LA Galaxy’s StubHub Center will host the game.

Another Galaxy player hoping to feature will be Gyasi Zardes and the young striker will hope to start after looking sharp when coming off the bench against Chile last week.

USA’s last five: D/D/L/L/L

Panama’s last five: W/W/L/W/D

Key Stat: Panama have only beaten the USA once in 14 previous meetings – a 2-1 win in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2011.

Key Player: Gyasi Zardes – The LA Galaxy striker showed promise on his debut against Chile and will be pushing for a start. Expect him to make a difference if he is given the time.

Score Prediction: USA 3–1 Panama The USMNT to get back to winning ways with an improved performance back on home soil.