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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Everton on alert with several clubs tracking Kevin Mirallas

Everton and Belgium winger Kevin Mirallas is being linked with a move away from Merseyside with several big teams interested in securing his services.

The 27-year-old is being touted as the possible replacement for Germany winger Marco Reus at Borussia Dortmund, while Spurs and Atletico Madrid are also believed to be keeping tabs on the Everton star.

Mirallas will be entering the final year of his contract this summer following his £6 million move from Greek side Olympiakos in 2012. But Everton do have the option to renew his contract by a further year that will take him up to 2017 and Everton manager Roberto Martinez does not want to sell.

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The Belgium winger has reportedly told the club that contract talks will have to wait until the summer as he is keen to evaluate his options before committing to the Toffees.

Roberto Martinez says Everton must satisfy the ambitions of Mirallas if he is to remain a Blue: “Kevin is happy with his football but I think it is only normal to see where we are as a football club before he signs a new contract or decides what he wants to do.

“Kevin is on a long-term contract. It is not as if his contract is up at the end of the season. I don’t see him not signing now as a sign of anything. It doesn’t make any difference whether you have a two year deal or a six year deal nowadays. If you want to move on you will do it whether you have a long term or short term contract.”

Mirallas has been one of many outstanding Belgian’s in the Premier League since his arrival at Goodison Park in 2012, making 89 appearances in all competitions and scoring 25 goals, including an impressive free-kick against West Ham in the FA Cup in which Everton went out on penalties last Tuesday.

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With Marco Reus appearing likely to leave Borussia Dortmund in the summer, the Bundesliga side will need to replace to German talisman and Jurgen Klopp has looked at the Everton man as an ideal replacement.

Dortmund won’t be the only side looking at Mirallas and The Telegraph have reported that the North London club have already made an enquiry and offered winger Aaron Lennon as part of the deal.

How important is Kevin Mirallas to Everton?