Bet of the Day: Germany to beat Argentina in Dortmund friendly

14th September 2021

While club football fans will be watching this international week with their fingers crossed that their teams’ players return from duty unscathed, fans of the global game will be looking forward to some interesting clashes, and the meat of the action kicks off tonight in Dortmund as Germany face Argentina. These sides have faced off three times in World Cup finals – the most common head-to-head at that stage of the competition – although both will feel they have something to prove here, having exited last year’s edition distressingly early (humiliatingly so, in Germany’s case).

It could well be argued that this is not a vintage Germany-Argentina game; after all, the 1986 final featured Maradona, Ruggeri, Matthaus and Rumenigge, while even the fairly tepid 2014 contest had Leo Messi. Tonight, though, there’s a chance to see some of the next generation for both sides – and perhaps witness the beginning of something which could culminate in another meeting at the business end of the 2022 event in Qatar. If nothing else, being a friendly means that this game offers a chance for Joachim Low and Lionel Scaloni to experiment before returning to competition football.

Youthful strikers get their chance to shine

Argentina’s Lautaro Martinez has some big boots to fill at this level of the game. Past incumbents in the main striker’s role for Argentina have included Claudio Caniggia, Gabriel Batistuta and of course, Leo Messi. There has also been Diego Milito, who may not have hit the same heights in the famous light blue and white shirt, but was a colossal influence on Martinez at Racing Club, and whose successful stint at Inter paved the way for the younger man’s current career path at the same club. Tonight, Martinez will have the task of following all the aforementioned.

For Germany, the chosen No. 9 is a less-known quantity. Luca Waldschmidt, currently at SC Freiburg, has been given the nod to start through the middle for die Nationalelf. Not a “natural goalscorer”, he should nonetheless provide a focal point for an attack which features pacey wingers Julian Brandt and Kai Havertz. There’s scope for a few goals tonight, making Unibet’s odds of ⅘ on more than 2.5 goals look very attractive in a game which should be very free-flowing.

Home advantage to suit Germany

It must suck a little to be a Borussia Dortmund fan. Bayern Munich – a thrashing of Spurs aside – have not had the greatest start to the season, and there is more chance than ever of a changing of the guard at the top of the Bundesliga. However, the side from the banks of the Ruhr are down in seventh place after their own shaky start. Nonetheless, due to the impressive production line at the club, Dortmund stalwart Marco Reus is a key player in the German XI tonight, while Brandt will be a familiar face on his left, and Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan will provide intelligent midfield support on his return to his old stamping ground.

Germany start as favourites, but will not have things all their own way this evening. Deep-lying midfielder Leandro Paredes has been an unsung part of Paris St Germain’s excellent start to a Champions League campaign which is make-or-break for (former Dortmund) manager Thomas Tuchel. Argentina will be hard to break down – they always are, even in non-vintage spells – and the smart odds at Paddy Power are the 4/1 they’re offering for the scores to be even at half time, with Germany taking the honours by the time the final whistle blows.

A close game which could go either way

Neither of these sides looks, at the moment, like a team ready to play in another World Cup final. Then again, few people in 2015 would have argued that Croatia would be playing in the decider in Moscow three years later, so there is time for momentum to build and pieces to fall into place. With this match being a friendly, the chance for an entertaining game and a few players to make their mark makes it an occasion that should be worth watching for the neutral. It should also be pretty even, which allows for both sides to make a statement.

Over the piece, it is reasonable to pick Germany as the winners, but they won’t run away with it. Games between these two tend to be close – the finals in 1986, 1990 and 2014 were all decided by a single goal. We can see that pattern continuing tonight, and as far as a correct score goes, 2-1 seems like a reasonable pick. That’s on offer at 7/1 with William Hill and those are very attractive odds in the circumstances. With both sides having plenty of firepower, it would be a shock if this ended low-scoring, and every bit as surprising if it were to be a one-sided showdown.

Bets of the Day

Germany to win 2-1, (Paddy Power, 7/1);

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