A tense race is underway between Germany and Poland at the top of Group D in Euro 2016 qualifying. Ahead of Thursday night’s games, the Germans hold a two-point lead over the Polish. Germany needs to claim three points in Ireland to guarantee a first-place finish and a more favourable draw when Euro 2016 begins next summer.
The Germans certainly won’t have an easy ride against the Irish, who hold third place in Group D and are on 15 points. Thus far, the Irish have lost only one game, which came against Scotland last November. When playing in Germany, the Irish earned a draw last October.
From a performance standpoint, the Irish have a lot to take pride in. A return of 17 goals from eight games has given them a goal-scoring average of more than two goals a game. Meanwhile, the five goals they have conceded has given them the best defensive record in the group.
This is by no means the strongest first XI in Ireland’s history, but the strength throughout the squad is impressive. Veteran manager Martin O’Neil has a number of talented midfielders, including the tenacious James McCarthy, the creative Wes Hoolahan, and goal threat Jonathan Walters. Each will need to deliver if Ireland are to remain solid against Germany.
Germany have been on cruise control since winning the World Cup. Winning 7-0 against Gibraltar has helped to elevate their goal-scoring record to 22 from eight games. However, they have been surprisingly leaky in defence, as September’s 3-2 win over Scotland suggests.
At present, there is an imbalance in the talent distribution for the German national team. While they have outstanding midfield talents like Toni Kroos, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mesut Özil, Mario Götze, and Thomas Müller, they just don’t have the striking talent to match. Lukas Podolski represents the only identifiable name. Nevertheless, they still seem to get it done.
Tip one: Germany to win @ 1.50 with Betfair
Tip two: Over 2.5 goals @ 1.66 with Betfair
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German Euro 2016 qualifying matches have average 3.6 goals a game, given how they can score heavily while also conceding. Backing a German win and over 2.5 goals could be a likely outcome.