Germany take on Russia in an international friendly match at the Red Bull Arena on Thursday. Die Mannschaft will be hoping to bounce back from a disappointing World Cup and UEFA Nations League campaign thus far.
The Germans’ attempts to rebuild since their humiliating exit at the group stage of the tournament in Russia has seen Low’s men struggle to find their feet, with a poor run of results in the UEFA Nations League failing to provide any respite.
The 2014 World Cup winners’ attentions will be rapidly turning towards Euro 2020, though they will be hoping to build a more encouraging run of form ahead of the next major international tournament than has been the case for the Germans of late.
Recent defeats to the Netherlands and France are unlikely to have done any good for confidence in amongst the Germany ranks. Die Mannschaft must seek to turn their fortunes around as soon as possible as they bid to return to the summit of the international game.
How to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Thursday 15 November|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||19:45 (BST)|
|Where Is it Played?||Red Bull Arena|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Nations League Goal Zone (Sky Sports News)|
Germany have taken the surprise decision to drop two experienced members of the squad, with both Jerome Boateng of Bayern Munich and Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen omitted from the fold for the Germans’ two upcoming fixtures.
Arsenal’s Bernd Leno has been included in place of ter Stegen, whilst a number of younger defenders such as PSG’s Thilo Kehrer, Jonathan Tah of Bayer Leverkusen and Hoffenheim’s Nicolo Schulz feature in the absence of Boateng.
Further forward, Bayer Leverkusen starlet Kai Havertz is perhaps the least familiar inclusion between Germany’s midfield and forward ranks, as the playmaker has continued to impress in the Bundesliga. Meanwhile, PSG forward Julian Draxler has been omitted on compassionate leave.
With a UEFA Nations League clash with the Netherlands set to follow four days later, Joachim Low is likely to field a more youthful and rotated side against Russia.
Russia’s options have been somewhat depleted with a number of injuries hampering Stanislav Cherchesov’s plans for the World Cup quarter-finalists upcoming fixtures.
Denis Cheryshev is struggling with a muscle injury, whilst attacking midfielder Ilzat Akhmetov remains out with a shoulder injury.
Aleksandr Golovin is another key man set to miss out, with the Monaco star still recovering from a sprained ankle. Captain and star striker Artem Dzyuba is also struggling with a knee problem. Defender Andrey Semenov, meanwhile, is suspended.
|Germany||Trapp; Ginter, Tah, Rudiger, Kehrer; Rudy, Goretzka, Brandt, Havertz, Sane; Uth|
|Russia||Guilherme; Fernandes, Neustadter, Dzhikiya, Kudryashov; Gazinskiy, Zobnin, Ionov, Kuzyayev, Yerokhin; Zabolotny|
Head to Head Record
The two sides have met just five times previously, with Germany boasting a dominant record against Thursday’s opponents. Die Mannschaft have beaten Russia on four of the five occasions, with the other meeting ending in a 2-2 draw in a friendly match in 2005.
The previous meeting between the two nations ended in a 1-0 win for Germany, as Joachim Low’s side edged past the Russians courtesy of a Miroslav Klose winner in a World Cup qualifier in 2009 which secured Germany’s place at the 2010 tournament in South Africa.
Germany’s biggest win in history over their Russian counterparts came at Euro 1996, as a Jurgen Klinsmann double inspired Berti Vogts’ side to a 3-0 win over Oleg Romantsev’s Russia at Old Trafford.
Germany have struggled to put their World Cup nightmare behind them, with Joachim Low’s men having won just three out of 11 matches in what has been a 2018 to forget for Die Mannschaft.
A 0-0 draw with world champions France in the UEFA Nations League was a tolerable first outing since their elimination from the World Cup at the hands of South Korea. However, subsequent defeats to the Netherlands and France in the same competition have hit Germany with further setbacks.
Russia were one of the surprise over-performers at the World Cup, as Cherchesov’s side reached the quarter finals of the competition on home soil during the summer.
Having conquered Spain among their finest achievements during their run to the last eight, Russia have since put together a strong run of results in the aftermath of the World Cup, further establishing their position as a burgeoning international power.
A 5-1 thrashing of Czech Republic in a friendly match in September was the pick of the bunch, whilst strong results against Turkey and a stalemate with Sweden have seen Russia establish their position strongly in the UEFA Nations League.
Here’s a roundup of how each team has performed in their previous five outings:
|South Korea 2-0 Germany
|Russia 2-2 Croatia (3-4 on penalties)
|Germany 0-0 France
|Turkey 1-2 Russia
|Germany 2-1 Peru
|Russia 5-1 Czech Republic
|Netherlands 3-0 Germany
|Russia 0-0 Sweden
|France 2-1 Germany
|Russia 2-0 Turkey
Germany’s dreadful run of form over the course of the last year, not least in recent months after the World Cup, coupled with Russia’s excellent recent showings, make this encounter a tough one to call.
Though Germany will still boast the greater technical quality, Russia will be buoyed by their successes of 2018 so far.
However, the Russians are themselves without a number of key men through injuries, meaning that this fixture is set to be a tight affair with little between the two sides.
Prediction: Germany 1-1 Russia