Four years ago Germany lifted the World Cup above their heads in Brazil after dominating the tournament, including a demolition job over host nation and pre-tournament favourites Brazil. This year they will be looking to retain the trophy, but their preparations haven’t gone entirely to plan so far.
The backup centre back partnership of Antonio Rudiger and Niklas Sule were disappointing on Saturday as Joachim Low’s side lost 2-1 against Austria in their first warm up friendly, and that came after Brazil exacted some revenge on them in March with a 1-0 win.
Germany are now without a win in five games, last tasting victory in October 2017. Their opponents during this time have included England, France, Spain, and Brazil though, and the prospect of failing to beat Saudi Arabia is a lot more fat fetched.
Saudi Arabia have past experience of playing Germany, and it’s not a pleasant memory for them. They were hammered 8-0 in the opening round of the 2002 World Cup, and it seems incredibly unlikely that they can follow in Brazil’s footsteps and get some revenge here.
Saudi Arabia have already played two warm up friendlies in preparation for their World Cup campaign, and neither of them have gone particularly well. Their 2-1 loss to Italy was excusable, but they were walked over against Peru on Sunday in a 3-0 defeat. The visitors are the type of opponents that Germany regularly teach a lesson, and we’re expecting more of the same here.
At home, Germany have failed to win their last three games against France, Spain, and Brazil. Prior to that they had won all seven of their home games since the end of Euro 2016, and many of them were comprehensive to say the least. They beat San Marino 7-0, Norway 6-0, and Azerbaijan 5-1. Saudi Arabia have lost their last seven away games, and three of the last five have been by at least a three goal margin.
Joachim Low will demand a performance from his players here, and with some of his stars expected to return to the starting lineup we’re expecting one too. They will want their confidence back before the World Cup kicks off, so backing Germany -2.5 Asian Handicap looks a great choice alongside a 4-0 correct score predictions.
Germany Predicted Lineup: Neuer, Kimmich, Hummels, Boateng, Plattenhardt, Kroos, Goretzka, Muller, Ozil, Reus, Werner
Saudi Arabia Predicted Lineup: Al Mosailem, Al-Harbi, O Hawsawi, M Hawsawi, Al-Shahrani, Al-Jassim, Al-Shehri, Al-Dawsari, Al Faraj, Al-Muwallad, Al-Sahlawi
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These two nations have met twice, with Germany thrashing Saudi Arabia 8-0 in the 2002 World Cup group stages and beating them 3-0 in a friendly four years before that.
Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng are expected to come back into the starting lineup on Friday, whilst Toni Kroos, Leon Goretzka, Thomas Muller, and Timo Werner are all expected to move into the starting eleven as well. Leroy Sane will play no part after being dropped from the final World Cup squad.
Top scorer Mohammad Al-Sahlawi is expected to start up front as he looks for his 29th international goal, and veteran midfielder Raisir Al-Jassim is also looking to slot back into the midfield. The ever-present Osama Hawsawi will occupy the centre of defence for the 135th time.