Australia will play current World Champions Germany in their first competitive match since clinching the Asian Cup in a friendly at Kaiserslautern early Thursday morning.
Dropping to an all-time low FIFA ranking of 102 in late 2014, the Socceroos have climbed close to forty positions since beating South Korea 2-1 to clinch their first major piece of silverware on January 31st but undoubtedly face a huge task against the current world number 1.
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Manager Ange Postecoglou is set to field a reasonably different squad to that which won the Asian Cup, as a result of injury, retirement and recent form.
In a huge blow to Australia’s chances, veteran striker Tim Cahill was ruled out of the game after suffering an Achilles injury playing for club side Shanghai Shenhua over the weekend, while defender Matthew Spiranovic is also a notable omission as he continues to recover from a hamstring complaint. Asian Cup player of the tournament Massimo Luongo and forward Tomi Juric are also under an injury cloud.
As a result, the likes of Aaron Mooy and Nathan Burns are likely to herald decent game time up front while Preston North End defender Bailey Wright may slot into the defensive line.
Posting an impressive 1-0 victory over Argentina to clinch the World Cup last year, Germany have actually been somewhat inconsistent over the eight proceeding months and will approach Thursday’s match with Australia with the hope of returning to strong form.
Joachim Loew’s side face off with Georgia in a Euro 2016 qualifying match only four days after their fixture with the Socceroos, and need to claim all the points to stay in touch with Group leaders Poland. As a result, just how strong a team Loew fields against Australia is yet to be determined however the Germans boast incredible depth in defence, midfield and attack.
World Cup hero Manuel Neuer has been confirmed to miss the friendly, opening the door for Dortmund’s Roman Weidenfellar to fill in between the posts, while Bayern Munich’s Bastian Schweinsteiger appears likely to make his first appearance for the national team since lifting the World Cup.
Australia vs Germany Betting
Understandably, Germany are currently clear favourites to chalk up another victory over Australia at a quote of $1.15, while the Socceroos are given little chance for success at particularly generous $16 odds.
German marksman Lukas Podolski has been unable to find the back of the net for club side Inter Milan this campaign, so selecting a player like Dortmund’s Marco Reus to score for the home side may figure as a smart betting play.
Marco Reus scores and Germany wins: $2.50
Nathan Burns scores and Australia wins: $67
Australia vs Germany Statistics
Australia Wins: 1
Germany Wins: 3
29/3/2011 Australia wins 2-1 (Friendly)
13/6/10 Germany wins 4-0 (World Cup)
15/6/2005 Germany wins 4-3 (Confederations Cup)
18/6/1974 West Germany wins 3-0 (World Cup)
Australia vs Germany Analysis
Surprisingly, Australia triumphed in the most recent meeting between these two nations; coming from a goal down to win 2-1 at Borussia Park in 2011.
In what may also figure as a good omen for the Socceroos, the Fritz-Walter-Stadion was the scene of their legendary 3-1 triumph over Japan in the 2006 World Cup; a match which produced both their first goal and victory at the tournament.
Postecoglou has always welcomed the challenge posted by the world’s best teams since taking the reins of the Australian national team early last year, and will view this match as a key skill and work indicator.
Germany will undoubtedly field a strong starting XI and boast class over all corners of the pitch.
While Australia have proven they are more than capable of mixing it at the highest level on their day, Germany at home will likely be too great a task for the young team to overcome on Thursday morning.
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