It’s getting to crunch time in the European Championship qualifiers, where in Group A Turkey host already-qualified Germany on Friday night knowing a win would all but secure a play-off place and the chance to be in Ukraine and Poland for next summer’s finals.
Turkey are 49/20 to get that win, with the draw priced at 12/5 and Germany 21/20 shots for an away victory.
If you’re the sort of punter who believes a superior team will always beat an inferior one – no matter what the respective circumstances of the sides – then the price for a German win is the sort of thing you should relish getting stuck into.
Joachim Loew’s men are in a different class entirely to the Turks, having beaten them 3-0 in Berlin exactly a year ago on their way to a qualifying record that reads played eight, won eight with an aggregate 28-5 scoreline.
While the presumption is that Germany will take their foot off the gas in a match that is a dead-rubber to them, I read this match as one of Europe’s best sides playing with freedom against nervous hosts who have everything to play for and even more to lose.
Germany have a fantastic squad of young players (Bayern Munich’s 21 year-old midfielder Toni Kroos is the latest startlet to break into the first team) to augment their established stars and their away record since Euro 2008 is phenomenal – Germany are unbeaten, winning ten and drawing five, including a win at Guus Hiddink’s Russia in Oct 2009.
Hiddink is now in charge of Turkey, but the major tournament veteran faces his second consecutive qualification failure after Slovenia saw to Russia’s World Cup hopes and with Belgium just two points behind Turkey with two to play.
Hiddink has done a decent job at Turkey, no more, no less (in fact I would actually argue that Hiddink is a vastly overrated coach, but that’s a debate for another time) and although their home record is good under him – they are unbeaten in six games – the standard of opposition has been average, and the gulf in class between these sides is all too evident.
If the price was to shorten I would lose interest – no-one has ever got rich by backing odds-on away pokes – and I’ll check team news in case Loew makes some unexpected changes, but at odds against, I’ll take heed of the well worn mantra: you should never back against the Germans.
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