Euro 2016 qualifiers: Scotland slump should continue in Germany game
Scotland haven’t beaten Germany at home since reunification, and are a big-price 7/1 with Coral to correct that stat, though reigning World Cup champions Die Mannschaft have hit some real form with four competitive wins on the spin.
Two of those were against Euro 2016 qualifying Group D whipping boys Gibraltar for what it’s worth, but Joachim Low’s lads are odds-on 4/9 favourites for a Hampden Park victory. A draw, which may also hand the Tartan team’s Celtic rivals the Republic of Ireland the upper-hand in the race for third place in this pool, is 7/2.
Germany were perhaps fortunate to win the reverse fixture 2-1 last autumn, with a repeat scoreline a 7/1 shot, and centre back Mats Hummels is wary of the threat Gordon Strachan’s side will pose with the Hampden roar egging them on.
“They are dangerous and it doesn’t depend on how they played the last game,” the Borussia Dortmund man, who has been persistently linked with Premier League heavyweights Manchester United, said of Scotland. “We know they have a good team, a strong team and some good individual players and of course a very passionate stadium.
“It will be a tough game if we let them play, if we let them have chances, the crowd will get enthusiastic and the team will always be better then,” Hummels continued and downplayed Die Mannschaft after their 3-1 win over neighbours Poland.
“We’re not back to our best but I think we had a good performance except for the last 10 or 15 minutes before half-time. Then we had some mistakes, some passes to the opponent to make it really easy for them to create chances. So that was a point we wanted to improve in the second half and I think we did – I think we controlled the game.”
There is one clear and present danger when it comes to the German national team, and that is Bayern Munich menace Thomas Muller. Six goals in as many qualifying outings, including the opener in the reverse fixture and last time out, is compelling evidence of that.
Magnificent Muller and his canny knack of being in the right place at the right time, whether deployed out wide or as a striker, is a nifty 9/2 to break the deadlock once more or a superb 6/1 to repeat or better his two goals when last battling Strachan’s side.
Club and national teammate Mario Gotze proved the difference against Poland for Low’s lads, so is the same price in those respective markets as Muller. Both were beneficiaries of assists from Cologne left back Jonas Hector, and that is someone the Scots must contain.
Strachan, meanwhile, has vowed to make changes after losing in Georgia. When asked what Scotland needed to do to beat Die Mannschaft, he said: “[Be] good defensively, patient but still be in a position to get at the German lads and put them under pressure, incredibly brave when we get the ball.
“It has to improve only in the last third. We feel that we could have done better there, we just have to get that final pass spot on. The big difference in international football is the last third.”
This could be a hint that in-form Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths replaces out-of-favour Sunderland counterpart Steven Fletcher, especially as other option Steven Naismith is not in Everton’s starting XI.
Yet to score in six caps for Scotland, Griffiths is well worth a punt to break his international duck at 11/4 anytime because he has eight in a dozen club outings this term. Watford winger Ikechi Anya was on target in Germany, meanwhile, so is 6/1 to repeat on home soil.
Shaun Maloney’s move back to Britain from the USA with Championship club Hull City is timely because he leads the Scottish scoring charts in Euro 2016 qualifying with four. Increasing that tally anytime is a 5/1 chance.
Coral’s top tip: Germany will not find it easy as the away side, but there is a huge gulf in class between them and their hosts. Back Die Mannschaft to win, but Scotland to score at a tasty 21/10.