As Germany begin their final preparations for the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine, I look at the state of the squad and can’t help but think it will take a damn fine side to stop them from winning the tournament.
And this isn’t a ‘never back against the Germans’ cop out either – I just think that Euro 2012 could be their tournament and the reason for my confidence is their goalscoring prowess.
They have goals from all over the pitch which, unless you happen to be Greece circa 2004, is a huge advantage to have and the statistics show how goal-hungry this German side are under the brilliant Joachim Low.
Podolski has had a great season at Cologne, scoring 18 times, and with three goals for Germany in the last year he can stake his claim in Gomez’s absence.
Their last nine fixtures have yielded 27 goals – three goals a game, mathematicians – and they qualified for the tournament with an impressive record of 34 goals in ten games.
It means goals are likely, giving you a better chance of picking a goalscorer in their match against Switzerland.
Mario Gomez epitomises Germany’s attacking prowess more than most with seven goals in his last ten matches for his country, but he is particularly poor value favourite at 7/2 to core first given that, well, he isn’t playing: he and all the Bayern Munich stars who played in last week’s Champions League final defeat to Chelsea will be left out of the match given their extra time exploits.
Instead, look towards his partner in crime Lukas Podolski to net for the Germans in Switzerland. Podolski has had a great season at Cologne, scoring 18 times, and with three goals for Germany in the last year he can stake his claim in Gomez’s absence. The 9/2 on offer for the Arsenal-bound man to score first, as well as the 3/2 he scores at anytime, are well worth a look.
I always like the look of Mesut Ozil to score as well given his record for Germany – he has scored five in his last nine – so the 9/1 he scores first and 5/2 he notches during the 90 minutes are advisable on small plays.
As for the Swiss, they are notoriously shot-shy under defensive coach Ottmar Hitzfeld (just 11 goals scored in their last ten, which includes six blanks) but Xherdan Shaqiri is interesting at 12/1 to open the scoring and 13/4 to notch anytime. Twenty-year-old Basel star Shaqiri is Bayern Munich-bound next season and scored four goals in six qualifying games to go alongside nine league goals from midfield.
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