Germany boss Joachim Low has given World Cup-winning quartet Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos and Benedikt Howedes, plus red-hot striker Marco Reus, well-earned rests ahead of Die Mannschaft’s early-summer fixtures, meaning opportunity knocks for others.
Considering the world champions’ next EURO 2016 qualifier is away to Gibraltar, who have yet to lose by less than three goals in five competitive fixtures as a representative football nation, Low’s risk assessment seems sound.
That being said, the former Stuttgart gaffer is more likely to experiment during his side’s home friendly with USA, a match shown live on BT Sports.
Experienced big-hitters such as Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mesut Ozil, Andre Schurrle and Mario Gotze have been retained in order to get the job done, but Low indicated his willingness to try out youngsters and fringe acts against his old boss Jurgen Klinsmann’s visitors.
At a press conference ahead of the Cologne clash, Low said of the fixture:
“Basically, I want to make the most of the number of substitutions to keep the burden on the players as low as is possible.”
That suggests the likes of Schalke’s Max Meyer and Wolfsburg’s Maximilian Arnold, each of whom have picked up one cap so far under Low, will see some action at the RheinEnergieSTADION, but the best bet for a goal might be a player experiencing life in senior international football for the first time.
Despite turning 24 in February (Meyer and Arnold are both at least three years younger), Borussia Monchengladbach winger Patrick Herrmann makes Germany’s squad for the first time, after his most productive season for Die Folen by some margin.
Herrmann, who was linked with summer moves to Spurs and Arsenal prior to signing a new contract at Borussia-Park in April, notched 15 goals for his side across the Bundesliga and Europa League last term, while chipping in with five assists.
The 2/1 offered by bwin on Herrmann bagging at anytime during the 90 minutes looks about right, considering his one-in-three 2014/15 strike rate, but the boys in black and gold’s industry-best 8/1 about him scoring the last goal should be snapped up, with the Saarbrucken native’s debut likely to come from the bench
Plenty of recent history exists between these two teams, who face off in June for the third consecutive year after Germany’s 1-0 World Cup group-stage win 12 months, which was preceded by a 4-3 victory for the Stars and Stripes in Washington, DC.
Both teams bagged in three of their last five meetings, and USA have only failed to fire in two of their seven fixtures against Die Mannschaft since World Cup 1998.
With Germany managing a home clean sheet just once, against Gilbraltar, in five matches since ruling the world last summer, 13/20 about both teams scoring looks the business.